*Warning: This Post is not suitable for all ages*
Hello Recovery Friends, Readers, and New Visitors,
TODAYS subject matter may not be suitable for children, so I wanted to warn you right off……
I met todays GUEST, “Dave Pittman” recently on Twitter. I went to his websites that he has on his twitter profiles, and really liked what I saw. So I wanted to share him with all you, and share what Dave does to help those who have been sexually abused. Yes, it is a hard subject to talk about, but if we don’t, how can we make people “Aware,” or how can we help those who have been abused to get help? To show them it is OK to talk about, as there is NO SHAME in what had happened to them, and let them know it was NOT THEIR FAULT.
We can not “Educate” and share “Awareness” if the conversations and discussions don’t take place, RIGHT?…
Dave is the “Executive Director” of “Together We Heal” http://Together-We-Heal.org/ and here is a little what how they help…
Together We Heal is for those who have suffered the trauma of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). It exists to provide guidance and counseling to those in need, educate any who seek information on how to better protect our children and to expose the sexual predators and their methods. Together we can do these things together and begin the process of healing.
Since 90-95% of CSA occurs at the hands of someone who is known, trusted and often loved, it is essential to be educated on what signs or red flags to be looking. The once held notion of “stranger danger” is a myth with regard to CSA and education is the key to learning what are the real threats to children.
TWH works with Schools, Religious groups, Civic organizations or in a home full of concerned parents. Our desire is to prevent children from enduring the trauma of CSA, and to help those who have already been assaulted begin the process of healing.
It’s not too late to reach out and get help.
There is also a real need to change statute of limitation laws on child molestation and sexual abuse. Immediate action is needed by every state legislature to strengthen the loose sentences and lenient statute of limitation laws on child abuse, molestation and rape. Please help promote that change by contacting your local lawmakers and let them know of the needed changes.
TWH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. We wanted to take a moment to thank our angel donors who gave from their hearts to make this possible. Thank you for your generosity and support of survivors of CSA. You gave because you understand the need, and gave insistently and from a genuine place of love. Thank you all so very much!
The bottom-line focus of TWH is to provide no-cost counseling for survivors who cannot afford it, education to the public through public speaking on matters of CSA and giving a safe forum for victims of abuse to share, learn and heal.
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
“Together We Heal is for any who suffered the trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Provide a safe forum, educate any seeking info and expose the predators methods.”
*Here is a little of how Dave began and is involved in Together We Heal*….
In 2006 David Pittman took the first step in acknowledging the childhood sexual abuse (CSA) that was perpetrated against him from the ages of 12 to 15. In taking that first step it led to a process of journaling to help in his recovery process. When he realized that he might get more feedback from fellow survivors that would help them both, he began a blog called “Together We Heal” (TWH) and the response was more than he could’ve imagined! Not only did other survivors respond, but there was a constant influx of questions: How did you take that first step? Where do you go for support? Are there any therapists in my area to help me?
It was at this point David realized he had a decision to make. To either continue with things “as-is” and help those who he could, in whatever minimal way possible, or take TWH to the next level and organize it as an official non-profit, begin recruiting therapists to help survivors, building a team of professionals to get the organization off the ground and help to educate the public on all matters of CSA.
So from its meager existence as a simple blog in 2011, until it filed paperwork with the government in 2013 to become an official 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, TWH has grown by leaps and bounds. TWH now has a real and substantial online presence, is leading through example within the South Florida community having a weekly support group by partnering with SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. It has extended relationships to include other leading National and International Survivor Support organizations as well as local affiliations such as the Victim Services Division of Palm Beach County. It is the fundamental belief of TWH that only by joining forces and combining our resources can we make a real difference in the lives and of children and survivors.
Additionally, TWH now has therapists on three continents, from L.A. to London, from Moscow to New Delhi and many points in between. But none of this would be possible without those who have given and continue giving of their time, talents and financial resources. It’s because of them, TWH is capable of helping those in need.
However, the demand grows weekly and If you find yourself in one of two groups, either in need of the assistance from TWH, or in a unique position to aid survivors of CSA with your time or resources, please contact us and let us know how we can help you or how you can help others. The needs of so many rely on the kindness of those willing to give, and we need your help.
May survivors of CSA everywhere find the peace they so dearly deserve.
I urge you to go visit Dave’s website at “TOGETHER WE HEAL,” as they have many Resources available to those who have been abused and much MORE!
The next website he is a part of is “SNAP Network”.. http://www.snapnetwork.org/
SURVIVORS NETWORK of those Abused by Priests…SNAP’S MISSION IS;
“Our most powerful tool is the light of truth. Through our actions, we bring healing, prevention and justice.”
SNAP is an independent, confidential network of survivors of religious sexual abuse and their supporters who work to:
Protect the vulnerable:
We expose predators and those who shield them. We build policies and practices within secular and religious organizations that protect children now and in the future.
Heal the wounded:
We share our stories and allow others to confront the truth. Together, we find healthy mechanisms for healing.
Prevent the abuse:
We educate ourselves and our communities about the effects of abuse. We speak in a unified voice to bring about change by exposing the malignant actions of abusive religious ministers and the church officials who shield them.
In order to achieve this mission, SNAP will:
- Build a continually expanding world-wide network of chapters united under the SNAP banner and website.
- Recruit and train a flourishing team of staff members, volunteers, leaders and activists who will form an insurmountable force for recovery and change
- Expose predators across the globe and ensure that they are never placed in positions where they can abuse again
- Demand and achieve legal justice, working with others to ensure criminal and civil success in all cases of religious abuse
- Change laws or legal practices that obstruct justice or protect predators
- Hold church institutions answerable for enabling abuse and shielding predators…
*So please visit SNAP and read more about how they are helping those know and feel they are “No Longer Alone.” That there are people, and many places and resources for help. Let them know they will be heard! Lets “Help” them to start the healing process to a better LIFE!*
*Here is another way SNAP helps those who have been abused where we worship by TAKING ACTION AS Silence Make Evil Possible*
“There are many ways you can help protect the vulnerable, expose the truth and heal the wounded. Here are some suggestions:”
Step up to the Microphone: Contact your local SNAP representative for advice on speaking out through the news media or talk radio. If you are a survivor, consider sharing your story with a local gathering of Voice of the Faithful.
Get to Know Your D.A.: These elected officials have the power to decide who gets prosecuted and who does not. Let them know why accountability is so important.
Talking to the Press: In large part because of tenacious reporting by the media, the Catholic Church hierarchy is finally facing intense scrutiny and pressure for the widespread and systemic sexual abuse of children. All this is ultimately due to victims who are willing to speak publicly about their abuse. Here are some points to keep in mind when talking to reporters. More…
What To Do When Your Priest is Accused of Abuse: Remain open-minded. The natural human instinct is to recoil from alleged horror, and to immediately assume that the allegations are false. But the overwhelming majority of abuse disclosures prove to be true. In every case, the proper and Christian response is to remain open-minded. More…
I’m blessed and honored to have met “Dave Pittman.” When I went to visit his websites, it made me have some feelings of what I had been through myself with my past childhood abuse. I hope you will go and explore both organizations & sites to see how you can help others heal. Maybe get involved, or Donate. It really does help those who have been through these traumatic childhood events, and it gives them a “VOICE”…
Here are a few other ways you help “Dave” Share His Message Of “HOPE” to others through Social Media:
Follow them on Twitter & Facebook pages!
*I Thank Dave so much for letting me share what he does to give “Hope & Healing” to others! Now here is just a little share of my own story of childhood abuse*….
I AM A Child Sex Abuse Survivor. I was abused from the age 11, until age 14. It was by two adult friends of the family, our neighbors sons. It was the most degrading experience in my life. I became non-trusting of men, it also spilled into my future relationships with men, and made my relationships with my older brother and father very strained, all the way into adulthood. I feel it made me sexually active at an early age, thinking it was what guys wanted. You are groomed, lied to, used, do disgusting things. And, all of it later in life came back to haunt me, and added fuel to my gambling addiction later on. Because when all those old wounds, pain, gross feelings came back, and I used gambling to “Escape” them all. Just to numb out! Zone out so deeply that I didn’t know how to feel “ANYTHING”….
It wasn’t until my early 40’s did I finally get help. With therapy. But, for some reason it really didn’t help. So I kept on using my addiction to cope and mask my feelings until my first suicide attempt in 2002. When I finally tried, and entered recovery, I found I was not only suffering from Bipolar 2 disorder with manic depression, went undiagnosed for years, but I also was suffering PTSD from all the traumatic abuse & events.
Then in 2006 I had a bad relapse, and I tried Suicide a second time. Finally after that, I learned to start walking through all the pain, the gambling and alcohol, and I began to heal. I don’t really like sharing what I went through, but just like the mental illness & disorders I suffer from, I started to share and talk about what I went through,began to accept my disabilities, and learn my abuse was not my fault. I learned to accept, forgive, work through, and heal, so I could begin to live life again in a healthy manner. So please remember,…..
*YOU ARE NO LONGER ALONE ~~ You need not suffer in *SILENCE*…..
GOD BLESS EVERYONE!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
*DO YOU HEAR MY VOICE*?