Child Abuse - Secret family business...
The seven faces above of the young T. D. McKinnon represent the first fifteen years of his life when he suffered child abuse at the hands of close family members. From his earliest memory TD's father beat him, and his maternal grandmother who had married twice, had in both instances married paedophiles.
All of these young faces are smiling, but if you look close enough you can see the secret these young people carry deep within; you can see the pain. You can see the difference in the face of the youngest TD compared to his older selves; the baby's eyes are wide open and innocent, whilst the older children's are eyes guarded, full of pain and 'the secret'. A secret that took the better part of fifty three years to heal and to move past. But TD doesn't wish to forget, because these young boys are the sum total of him. They represent his inner strength, his courage and the depth of compassion and forgiveness that are such a large part of this man.
Because his father was so abusive TD lived for his visits with his maternal grandmother, because she was so kind; the complete doting and loving grandparent. Unfortunately, at the age of six, these visits became a nightmare too, and TD was robbed of the only happiness he had in his young life. It was then that the sexual abuse began at the hands of his grandmother's second husband, uncle Andrew, and later on by her ex-husband as well.
These childhood traumas finally led TD to write his first book, 'Surviving the Battleground of Childhood', and with the writing, and the processes of editing and publishing, the demons were finally laid to rest and put where they belonged: in the past, and to the shame of those who betrayed the trust of this young child.
Quite often, people who have been abused as children are scarred for life and never reach their full potential, but TD has alays had a strong sense of survival and firm belief that he is the maker of his own fate. From his earliest days his inner strength fought back and would never allow those who took advantage of him, those who had stolen his childhood innocence and peace of mind, to be able to steal his 'now': his present and future. He never permitted those wrong doers to rob him of the rest of his life, and his given right as a living entity to be happy and to enjoy this time here on the earth. Where there was no nuturing, love or protection he learned to nuture and to love himself, and as he grew bigger, he made sure that he was as strong as he could possibly be so that no one would ever be able to take advantage of him again; he also became the protector of those who were weaker and in danger as he had once been as a small child.
If you think a child is being abused it's your responsibility to do something about it: don't turn a blind eye.
No one has the right to deprive any child of their peace of mind, happiness and full potential.
CHILD ABUSE IS A CRIME.
Child Abuse - Don't be part of the problem!
Anyone who has read my autobiographical book, ‘Surviving the Battleground of Childhood’, will know why I have dedicated this page of my website to abused children everywhere.
Child abuse is everybody’s responsibility; whether you are a parent or not. If you do not accept that responsibility, and become part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
If you know, or even suspect, that a child is being abused in any way and you chose to look the other way you are part of the problem.
People involved in child abuse don’t always see it clearly for what it is. That statement may seem obtuse; however, as unbelievable as it seems, it is none the less true.
What is Child abuse? Child abuse is the physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment or neglect of a child.
So what do you do if you believe a child is suffering abuse of any kind? There are a number of options to consider and only you will know what course of action is best for you.
In Australia you can always call the DoCS helpline on 132 111 - Available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week. Mandatory reports should use the strictly confidential number 133 627. And in Emergencies call 000.
In the UK you can Telephone the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 24 hours a day, every day by phone and online. It's free and you don't have to say who you are. They provide services in several languages, and also for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. You can text on 88858. They aim to reply to texts within 3 hours. You can email on firstname.lastname@example.org. They will read and act on your email within 24 hours.
In the USA the National Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
The above are just a few of the places you can seek help; every country has a helpline and somewhere you can get advice. If you suspect something then it is probably late in the day.
Do not sit on the fence - DO SOMETHING!