We are pleased to feature JulieAnn and commend her on her courage and resilience. She has turned her negative into doing positive things to help others!
"I fight for children, as I was one and know the shoes they walk in. When I was a child the laws were different than they are now. The police were called to my school as I could not walk correctly and in PE the girls told my teachers about the black and blue marks. Needles to say, I got in even more trouble after the police talked to my parents. Creative ways of not making black and blue marks was now my future. At age 15 I dropped out of school and ran away.
I wish, that I felt safe enough to have stayed in school, but that was not my journey. However, it is my journey now- to help youth through many issues, child abuse being one.
I am now 45 years old and I fight for children in our community. I do "not" make what I do one on one public.
But I can say- one person caring to listen and directing both the child and parent into a positive can make things 100% turn around."
Have a Positive Day!
This month we are proud to feature Michael Newell. We thank you Michael for sharing your story. His story is a personal testament to overcoming circumstance to go from being a victim to a victor! Please read and send to others you think may need encouragement or hope.
"When I was born, my parents were drug addicts and alcoholics. My dad actually showed up to my birth drunk and high on meth-amphetamines. When I was 4 months old, my mom abandoned me and my older sister because she couldn't take care of us and that was the only way DCFS would take us is if she abandoned us. We ended up in the foster system where we lived in several homes over the years (17 years starting at when I was 4 months). We spent 5 years in one particular foster home where me and my little brother (younger by 18 mo.) were abused physically and emotionally and starved. I was arrested twice at the age of 12 and 13 for stealing food so me and my little brother could eat. I now live alone and have my diploma. I am the janitor at a local church and I am a trained disaster relief respond-er. While my mother has cleaned up her life and I have a relationship with her now. my dad still chooses to use drugs including crystal meth and drink, so we don't talk. My aim is to keep children from having to go through the same things I did. If I can help just one child, I've succeeded!"
- Michael Newell -
Each Month we will feature another member who is fighting child abuse
"I May Be Scarred, But I'll Never Be Scared Again"
This All-Star wished to remain anonymous, but wanted to share her story and we respect her right to do so. We applaud her courage and by telling her story, hopefully it will encourage someone else to not give up hope.
"My father started sexually abusing me when I was twelve years old. My Mom was experiencing many medical problems at the time and was in and out of the hospital. I was so shocked when it happened I cried all night. The next day, I confronted him and told him I was going to tell my Mom when she got back from the hospital and he told me to go ahead and do it, but I should know that the doctor told him her condition was so fragile that any major shock could kill her. Also he was a high ranking military official, with a stellar record and he said no one would believe me. When she came home she looked so frail, I was scared to upset her, so I kept quiet. What kid wants to be responsible for their Mom's demise? Her various hospital stints and illness lasted for a few years and all that time I kept quiet as he continued abusing me. Finally, she was healthy and strong and I told her. I had imagined this day for years in my mind and was totally shocked and devastated when she turned around and asked him about it and of course he denied it. He tried to convince her that I was mentally unstable. She didn't buy that explanation, but she didn't leave him either. Within a couple of weeks he left on assignment and was gone until I graduated and had moved out. She told me later that she didn't leave because she didn't know where to go and he told her he would end up with custody of the kids because she didn't work and was sickly.
It took me a long time to come to grips with that experience, but I refused to let it break me. I'm a firm believer in "What does not kill you, will only make you stronger." So I used that experience to fuel my desire to help empower other children and women so that if they are ever faced with that situation, they have the strength to tell someone who can help them walk away."
SPC Joshua Beanblossom
We are honored to feature SPC Joshua Beanblossom. We got to know Josh through his father, Scott Beanblossom, who is the founder of the Facebook page Military Dad's. Scott and his wife Denise have three children serving in the military. Joshua and his brother Jonathan are currently deployed overseas keeping us safe and their sister Nicole is currently stationed stateside.
What really touched our hearts was the following message Joshua sent to our organization through his dad Scott. "He said to tell the three to five year olds that he is protecting them from the ground, then there are other services protecting them from the air and from the sea. Make sure you tell them that every time they see a man in uniform, including a policeman or firefighter, a mother or father that they are all heroes for you kids because you are the future. You all will be safe, go USA!"
We couldn't be more proud than to have Joshua as our first feature and look forward to featuring other supporters of Military Veterans Against Child Abuse that are standing firm with us in this fight!