Give Children A Voice
As I describe in my 2nd book “Living For Today” I was showing the signs of an abused child. My report card in the beginning of kindergarten shows that of what a normal child not being abused would look like. Area of improvement academically and where a child is being successful. Unfortunately the next report cards to come would begin the red flags. Click on pictures to read.
Here is a time line in case you have not read my books where I explain this.
I started Kindergarten in Aug 1990. By Spring 1991 I would experience sexual abuse for the first time. By January 1992 I had been raped and shortly there after put my hand through a window when I was reminded of the rape the way my older sister took my shoes off the same way a rapist got them off. Noted below in April 1992 my first grade teacher makes note of accepting the injury to my arm and being extremely angry. I had every right to be angry a grown man had raped me and had no way of communicating what had happened so instead I acted out in anger. The school developed an Individual Education Plan for my behavior problems. It wasn’t just a child acting out one day it was a weekly sometimes daily issue. I have given minutes with the school social worker, psychologist, etc. I clearly remember them coming to pull me out of class and constantly pouting. The sexual abuse continued until October 1993. I moved to a new neighborhood but same school district just a different school in November 1993. I transferred to the new school with the IEP that I had for the past 2 1/2 years. If you notice in the images below 5 months after the move and during a conference with school officials the noted that I no longer needed services because I was no longer acting out, not expressing anger, and even my parents noted in the conference in the notes below my behavior had much IMPROVED. It was noted I no longer met the requirements 5 months after moving to a new school.
There was no longer anger problems because I was no longer being sexually assaulted and raped. Yet nobody knew the real reasons behind that. The truth behind those anger problems and behavior problems would not come out until I was a 22 year old college student in my senior year of college not dealing with anger problems but instead a 3 year battle with anorexia due to the sexual abuse I never told anyone.
The final image is a card from my 6th grade teacher in April 1998. When the abuse ended in October 1993 I pushed those memories down and tried to go back to being a normal child. 4th grade was my favorite year. I remember so much of 4th grade and just being so happy. Little did I realize the abuse in my life was not over when the beginning of 5th grade the sexual abuse began again this time at the hands of a family member. The abuse continued towards the end of 6th grade March 1998. Which is why my teacher was writing me a letter saying she was missing my smiles because I had just broken my silence a week earlier and my teacher noticed I could not longer put on my act of pretending everything was alright.
Had someone been teaching me safe touch, unsafe touch, safe secrets, unsafe secrets, how to tell today and how to get away the angry little girl I once was would of known how to speak up and not stay silent for several years while two men killed the innocence in me. The schools were too busy trying to get me to learn how to express my anger more appropriately but not giving me the skills to not live in silence if someone is harming you.
This is why Erin’s law needs to be passed not only in Illinois but on a national level. There are children right now recieving behavior services through an Individual Education Plan just like I did who are being sexually abused but have not been taught how to break their silence. I fell through the system and thousands of other children are falling through at this very moment. Give them a voice. Educate them on sexual abuse.