Vanessa Williams has come forward to speak about molestation and its impact on young girls. It wasn’t a long testimonial, but its message is undeniable. Below is a summary of what she said on Oprah’s Master Class. At the bottom of the article is the video of her complete interview. It’s short (2 minutes) and makes so many valuable points.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | 3:04 PM
Vanessa Williams Opens Up About Being Molested As a Child
By Lauren Turner
Actress Vanessa Williams, 51, is opening up about being molested by an older girl.
In an appearance on Oprah’s Master Class, the former Miss America said her molestation by an older family friend, made her “more sexually promiscuous and more curious at a younger age than I should’ve been.”
The summer before fifth grade, Williams went to California with family for the first time. While there, she stayed with a family friend and was introduced to their then 18-year-old daughter. She described the girl as being “one of the cool girls” who “made you feel like you were a grown up.”
When the girl came into Williams’ room one right, what was once admiration, took a new turn. “She told me to lie down on the floor,” says Williams. “She took my bottoms of and she told me to be quiet, and she went down on me. And at 10 years old, I had no idea what it was, but I knew it felt good and I knew I shouldn’t be saying anything…I knew it felt good, but it was also something that I knew wasn’t supposed to be happening.”
This conflicted feeling stuck with Williams, long after that night. But because of family drama surrounding the death of her father’s brother, Williams thought it wasn’t the right time to say anything. Her molestation left her with years of shame and guilt.
“At that young age, having that happen to you, in your body, it awakens your sexuality at an age that it shouldn’t be awakened,” she said. “I think that had that not happened in my life, and I had an opportunity to have a normal courtship with a boyfriend at 16 or whatever, and have your normal first kiss, you know, there wouldn’t have been that shame that was kind of always haunting me.”
1. Sexual abuse is not only committed by adults.
2. Sexual abuse is not only a crime committed by men.
3. Sexual abuse creates sexuality in young children when they shouldn’t be sexually active.
4. Sexual abuse makes children become mature in ways they shouldn’t have to, including shouldering the burden of their abuse for the sake others.
The issue of belonging is something used by bullies at school, members of gangs, and pedophiles grooming their prey. It starts with little things: “If you want to be cool like me, you’ll smoke this/steal this/say this.” In Vanessa’s case, the 18 year old abuser introduced her to a world of free will and no consequences, smoking cigarettes and being adored by the in-crowd. By the time she came into Vanessa’s room, she had the 10 year old fawning all over her, eager to please and eager to be like her. She looked up to this older girl and didn’t know how to handle the heartbreak mixed with something her body told her felt good. She chose to remain silent while her mind tried to sort through the hurt and confusion. It’s grooming and it’s what predators do all the time. We are quick to recognize it and speak out about it when it comes to bullying in school now, but we still say nothing when it comes to sexual predation. It’s too uncomfortable, so we choose the safety of our bubble instead of protecting potential victims.
Had this been an 18 year old boy, there would be no question about the assault. Had this even been two adults, we would very quickly recognize that it was unwanted sex.
Pedophiles and sexual predators would have us believe that the pleasure she felt means children enjoy sex. Understand that these are the same people who believe (and have stated publicly in interviews and in court) that a screaming infant and crying child is having an orgasm, not in pain. For a 10 year old, yes, oral sex would have a feeling of pleasure to the body because it was not intrusive, but the mind has a right to be willing, and a 10 year old’s mind is never willing. Children become confused and afraid because while their body wanted it, their mind did not. They become ashamed and feel that their body’s response means they “asked for it.” Once an abuser has a child in turmoil over the first assault, they own their mind and body. They make them feel it was their fault and if they don’t let them do it again, they threaten that everyone will find out and blame the child.
Sexual abuse is never confined to an assault on the body. It is never restricted to only sexual chaos. A victim is suddenly burdened with what to do with what just happened. Very often, there are others the victim has to think about when deciding on whether or not to tell. Who will it hurt if they tell? Whose lives will the secret impact? Often times, adult rape victims are faced with this painfully difficult situation and must remain silent, at least for the time being. Imagine a child in such a situation. Imagine a child needing to tell but watching those around her dealing with other tragedies. Imagine being a child and choosing to bury your pain so others don’t have another burden to deal with. How fair is it for us to expect such maturity from a child? Such self-sacrifice from a child who just experienced a painful and terrifying event? And yet, children do it every day.
Child victims of sexual abuse, whether it be once or many times, will never be the same or have the kind of life “normal” people have. They will always feel as if it’s wrong to enjoy sex, will always feel as if they are sluts if they instigate sex, will always wonder what it might have been to experience their first time when THEY were ready and when THEY wanted to and with someone they loved. There will always be a void that occasionally fills itself with guilt, shame, regret, despair, and longing for what they will never have because it was stolen along with their childhood.
When you want to feel sorry for pedophiles, consider how much suffering they willingly and knowingly inflicted onto their victims who will never have the beautiful memories you have and will be forever haunted about their first time.
Sometimes, someone comes along who I can feel has had an exceptionally valuable life, one that can and may someday benefit this world. There was always a kind of light from her that touched something in me, and now I know it was because she is a survivor with a beautiful soul. She chose not to let her experience define her, learned from the mistakes it caused, and moved on from it all. Now, she is speaking up and speaking out for all of those who can’t. Never give up. Never let them win.
As adults, it is our responsibility to notice when a child needs our help. We have experience with warning signs, danger signs, and a learned intuition when something doesn’t seem right. Often times, however, a situation arises when such instinct is in the hands of other children, peers of the child needing help. This is where raising our kids with reasonable knowledge of social dangers becomes not just important for their own safety but for their friends and schoolmates, as well.
My daughter, who’s in 5th grade, came home a few weeks ago worried about a boy in her class. “James” was telling other kids that he cut himself, that he stabbed himself in the chest once with a knife, and that he wished he could die. She said she was scared for him because he seemed serious. Other kids didn’t want to get involved.
I advised her to talk to her teacher, but first, I wanted her to be sure of what he told the other kids. I asked for their names – 3 girls I know personally – and instructed her to find out how they felt when he told them.
She returned home the next afternoon to tell me each girl had heard something the others hadn’t. He told one girl he cut himself on the arm and showed her the slash marks. He told another girl about the stab to his chest and said his mom took him to the doctor, where they patched it up and told him not to play with knives because he could kill himself. He had told his mother and the doctor that he was running with the knife in the kitchen as a joke and fell on it. He admitted to the girl that it was a lie but he didn’t want to get in trouble. Another girl sits behind him in class. She said he was sitting quietly at his desk one day when he said in a soft voice, “I wish I could just die.”
When my daughter asked the girls if they thought they should tell the teacher, they said it was none of their business. One of them said she didn’t want to get the boy in trouble.
I asked my daughter what she thought she should do. She itemized the issue like this: “1. He’s cutting himself and stabbed himself in the chest. 2. He says he wants to die. That’s not a normal thing for a kid to say, mom. Someone needs to do something!”
I told her she needed to go straight to her teacher in the morning. I said that if her teacher tells her she can’t talk right now and to sit down at her desk (because it happens sometimes), she is to tell her teacher it’s about a student in the class who is in danger. My daughter isn’t known for exaggerating or causing trouble. In fact, she’s known to be a very caring individual who doesn’t hesitate speaking up for what is right and for talking about what is wrong with teachers. Therefore, I knew that if she told her teacher it was about a student in trouble, she would have her undivided attention.
The next afternoon, the first thing she blurted when coming home was, “‘James’ is going to be okay!” I asked what happened. She said she went to the other 3 girls first and asked them if they wanted to go with her to tell the teacher about the boy. Two of the girls said no, it was none of their business. The third girl said she asked her mom about it and her mom said, “You girls need to mind your own business. It sounds like he’s just trying to get attention from the girls in the class.” My daughter told the girl about the work I do with child abuse prevention and awareness. The girl said she told her mom about me and that my daughter was raised to know warning signs of kids in trouble. Her mother told her, “Well, I’m an expert with kids and I’m telling you nothing is wrong. You shouldn’t listen to that girl [my daughter] because her mom sounds like a worry wart.”
My daughter shrugged her shoulders and said, “Okay, well, I’m going to tell because he needs help and I care about other kids.” She then marched up to the desk and asked if she could talk to the teacher outside so no one would hear. They did and a little while later, the school councilor called for the boy to go to her office.
I had a reason to call her teacher a few days later, and when we were done with the reason for the call, she informed me that she was very proud of my daughter for speaking up. She said she couldn’t say what was going on but that he was going to be okay now, thanks to my daughter. She said she was aware the other girls wanted to keep quiet about it and had been told by another parent not to tell anyone. She said she was going to have D.A.R.E. bring up a situation like that in their weekly class given to the 5th graders.
A few days ago, my daughter informed me that “James” will be leaving the school in a couple of weeks because his mother is moving with him and his sister to another house in another part of the state or possibly out of state. She said he seems so happy now. He’s always talking about going on family outings with his mom and sister, and he hasn’t said one thing about hurting himself or wishing he would die. He smiles more and seems to have more friends on the playground. He didn’t really have close friends before and no one was allowed to go to his house. Since the family was living in military housing and the father is active duty, I am assuming this means they are leaving the dad, which means they have to leave military housing. I’m left to speculate that the boy was being abused by his father and this was the reason for his depression.
As parents, we are responsible for the well-being of our children. Some believe they should only look after their own and let other parents tend to their responsibilities. Such an attitude may sometimes be okay in the fields of politics and religion, but it never ceases to amaze me how an adult can feel that way about a defenseless, helpless child.
Raising our kids with respect for themselves as well as respect for others goes a long way in their lives. Such a character trait makes them productive members of society, valuable assets at work, and guarantees them a healthier social life through their school years as well as adulthood. Teaching caution when proceeding in a dangerous situation is understandable, and knowing when to get involved and when to have an authority get involved instead is perfectly fine. Raising a child to be apathetic, however, is never okay. Such coldness will affect all areas of their lives: school, work, relationships, and parenthood. Such an apathetic attitude from one’s parent could, also, lead to a child to believe their parent won’t care if they are the child in need of help.
I am proud of my daughter for not only caring about that boy and speaking up for him, but for ignoring the apathy of her friends and the negative, cold-hearted attitude of that other mother. She knew what was right and she did it, even if it meant those three girls could make fun of her and even if the boy could be angry with her.
When I suggested to her that he may be angry or upset for telling his secret, I let her know that it was okay if he was mad. At least she would get him help and he would be thankful later on. She said she felt like he was telling the kids in class because he was hoping one of them would tell the teacher so he wouldn’t get in trouble for asking for help. She’s a smart girl because that is precisely why many kids don’t tell. So isn’t it up to us as good parents to teach our kids to help their friends who can’t ask for the help they need?
I have a couple of links about childhood suicide, depression, and childhood cutting. If you are a teacher or professional caregiver, please keep this information handy. If you’re a parent, please remember that even if you raise your child with love and kindness, it doesn’t mean his or her friends and classmates are being raised the same way. This information will help you talk to your kids about what their friends may be going through at home or elsewhere and how they can help.
Dr. Jane Pearson on Warning Signs for Childhood Suicide… http://www.nimh.nih.gov/media/audio/jane-pearson-on-warning-signs-for-childhood-suicide.shtml
Dr. Pearson: So the children who attempt suicide can have many types of problems. It could be depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, substance abuse and it’s typically a combination of things and there may be some events that are precipitants as well… so it’s usually not just one simple cause.
Announcer: Dr. Jane Pearson is with the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. A great deal of her research focuses on how to prevent suicide. When it comes to reaching out to children and the adults who care for them, the most critical action step may be- listening…
Dr. Pearson: Kids often do talk about what they’re feeling. And people talk about gestures- being something that’s just- oh, they’re just trying to get attention. Well, they’re trying to get attention for a good reason and it would be good to not ignore any kind of comment about “oh, I just want to die.” It should probably reflect some type of distress and its worth evaluating.
Announcer: In addition to listening to our own kids… it’s important to listen to their friends…
Dr. Pearson: Kids still prefer to talk to other kids. They’re still reluctant to seek help from adults. So we’re… we see the research moving towards how do you get kids to help kids more. Usually, there is some distress and some comment about not wanting to be around. Other friends might notice this and you should take those comments from the kid’s peers very seriously and try to get some kind of evaluation as soon as possible.
WebMD Cutting and Self-Harm…. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/cutting-self-harm-signs-treatment
“They may have a history of sexual, physical, or verbal abuse,” Lader adds. “Many are sensitive, perfectionists, overachievers. The self-injury begins as a defense against what’s going on in their family, in their lives. They have failed in one area of their lives, so this is a way to get control.”
For many kids, it’s the result of a repressive home environment, where negative emotions are swept under the carpet, where feelings aren’t discussed. “A lot of families give the message that you don’t express sadness,” says Conterio.
It’s a myth that this behavior is simply an attention-getter, adds Lader. “There’s a [painkiller] effect that these kids get from self-harm. When they are in emotional pain, they literally won’t feel that pain as much when they do this to themselves.”
David Rosen, MD, MPH, is professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and director of the Section for Teenage and Young Adult Health at the University of Michigan Health Systems in Ann Arbor.
He offers parents tips on what to watch for:
Small, linear cuts. “The most typical cuts are very linear, straight line, often parallel like railroad ties carved into forearm, the upper arm, sometimes the legs,” Rosen tells WebMD. “Some people cut words into themselves. If they’re having body image issues, they may cut the word ‘fat.’ If they’re having trouble at school, it may be ‘stupid,’ ‘loser,’ ‘failure,’ or a big ‘L.’ Those are the things we see pretty regularly.”
Unexplained cuts and scratches, particularly when they appear regularly. “I wish I had a nickel for every time someone says, ‘The cat did it,'” says Rosen.
Mood changes like depression or anxiety, out-of-control behavior, changes in relationships, communication, and school performance. Kids who are unable to manage day-to-day stresses of life are vulnerable to cutting, says Rosen.
Signs of Depression in children: http://aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/the_depressed_child
The behavior of depressed children and teenagers may differ from the behavior of depressed adults. Child and adolescent psychiatrists advise parents to be aware of signs of depression in their youngsters.
If one or more of these signs of depression persist, parents should seek help:
Frequent sadness, tearfulness, crying
Decreased interest in activities; or inability to enjoy previously favorite activities
Persistent boredom; low energy
Social isolation, poor communication
Low self esteem and guilt
Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
Increased irritability, anger, or hostility
Difficulty with relationships
Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches and stomachaches
Frequent absences from school or poor performance in school
A major change in eating and/or sleeping patterns
Talk of or efforts to run away from home
Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self destructive behavior
Kids Health: Understanding Depression.. http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html
At the bottom of that page are tabs for parents to click, kids to click for help, and teens to click. Each tab has information on depression, cutting, suicide, bullying, etc..
In this month of National Child Abuse Awareness, we must remember that sometimes, the hero to an abused child isn’t always an adult. Sometimes it’s another child who has been taught to listen, speak up and speak out.
So, you’re looking at the headlines online and discover “ZOMG!!!1!!1! Ricky Martin is Gay!” And while you sit in your chair Twittering about his revelation that was really none of your business to begin with, passing judgments on him for not being your idea of “decent” or maybe crushing your school girl fantasies, or even praising him for “coming out” as though it’s his greatest achievement…, he and his foundation are rescuing sexually exploited children and alerting the world to child prostitution and other forms of child abuse and neglect.
Oh, but his sexuality is much more blog-worthy. Much more headline worthy. Much more deserving of your time and energy. Why? Because most would rather insult, ridicule, judge, and take advantage of than look at the positive anyone does – even when the positive involves saving children being raped, beaten, malnourished, and sold into prostitution because those things just aren’t as fun to talk about.
News flash, sunshine: Being raped and having no one give a damn is no fun for a child.
This country and this world need a new set of priorities. When we choose to gossip about the sexuality and fashion sense of a celebrity and ignore their efforts to rescue children – the life force of our species’ future – we are sending out an undeniably clear message that we don’t care about what happens to kids.
I have seen images of child rape that keep me awake many nights. These children don’t care if their rescuer is gay or straight, wears Wal Mart or Prada, drives a BMW or Chevy. They just want someone to save them. Anyone. The pleading in their eyes, the tears of pain and confusion over the betrayal by those who are supposed to love them, the anguish in their voices crying out for someone to save them should far outweigh any other issue you have with that person who stands up to meet that challenge. Especially when the most you can do is sit on your ass blogging about what you see as that hero’s flaws. Those of you guilty of such abhorrent behavior can either waste away in your wretched existence or answer the pleas of suffering children who don’t care what you look like or what imperfections others see in you. They just need someone to care and stop the pain.
Thank you, Ricky Martin, for ALL you do in this cause. You are a much greater person than anyone who can only see you with shallow minds and cold, apathetic hearts.
REACT. IT’S TIME.
CHILD TRAFFICKING The best available estimate is that 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide every year for exploitation purposes such as forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation, prostitution and servitude, among other forms of slavery.
BIRTH REGISTRATION Every year over 50 million children begin a life with no access to the most basic human rights. They have no identity; they are invisible.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN Worldwide, an estimated 40 million children under the age of 15 suffer from violence, abuse and neglect.
EDUCATION Nearly 115 million children are out of school. Globally, some 54% of the children out of primary school are girls.
HEALTH More than 10 million children under the age of five die each year. Two thirds of both neonatal and young child deaths – every year, over six million of those deaths – can be prevented.
Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin, right, touches a baby’s face during a visit to a shelter for victims of sexual exploitation in Siem Reap northwestern province of Cambodia, Saturday, March 29, 2008. Martin has taken his fight against child trafficking to Cambodia. Martin, who arrived in the country Wednesday, met with Interior Minister Sar Kheng and visited various projects run by non-governmental organizations fighting child trafficking and sexual exploitation. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
In 2006, when I first started volunteering my time combating child sexual abuse by means of awareness and preventative measures, I came across a group called B.A.C.A.: Bikers Against Child Abuse. As soon as I read their website and watched the informative videos, I was an instant supporter and dedicated fan.
It’s much like I am a fan of Andrew Vachss. I don’t consider Hollywood celebrities “fan worthy” because talented acting is in the eye of the beholder and merely opinion about what is really unimportant in the broad scheme of mankind. However, people who dedicate their time, money, and (trust me on this) peace of mind to fight the monsters who do the most horrific things to children most cannot imagine are truly worthy of fandom and hero status. In my book, anyway.
About a year ago, I was directed to B.A.C.A. Nation by a B.A.C.A. member, Zipper, who was at one time a member of the Pagan anti-child abuse group I created. I’ve listened to the show and watched the live feed at their site almost every Sunday since, popping into the chat room when possible.
Last Summer, I was fortunate enough to meet Guru, one of the creators of B.A.C.A. Nation and one of the D.J.’s, appropriately called The Four Horsemen. It was Guru who helped me find my nickname, Jade, to fit in a bit better with B.A.C.A. members, who all have road names for the benefit of the children they look over. As Guru explained, “Road names are to make it easier for kids to remember who you are.”
As down to Earth and more lovable than a teddy bear he is, his dedication to seeing child abuse come to its long-overdue end is irrefutable and nothing short of a Knight in shining armor – complete with a steel horse – to every child who needs him.
Guru was kind enough to participate in my very first interview last week. This is the first of many as I have big plans for April, Child Abuse Awareness Month.
Thank you, Guru!
JADE: What is your position in Bikers Against Child Abuse, B.A.C.A.?
GURU: First and foremost is as a chapter member. It is the first line of defense for a child. I have in the past served as a ‘primary’ (the primary contact or liaison between the child and the chapter and probably the most important position in B.A.C.A.). I have served as our Chapter’s Public Relations Officer, Chapter Web Admin, State Web Admin and currently serve as the International Events Coordinator.
JADE: How did you first hear of B.A.C.A.?
GURU: Through a co-worker and good friend, you know him as Caveman.
JADE: What compelled you to join B.A.C.A.?
GURU: B.A.C.A. was something larger than me that could utilize talents I have to benefit abused children. The kids are essentially defenseless and need folks to stand up for them; physically and emotionally. To remove the fear in their lives.
JADE: What are three things people should understand above all else about B.A.C.A.?
GURU: 1. B.A.C.A. is not a group of child advocates. We ARE Bikers and do biker stuff, talk like bikers, act like bikers and have enough sense to realize when those things are not appropriate – like when we are around kids.
2. While there are many worthwhile causes that people want us to become involved with, we mean no disrespect by declining – we have a very narrow mission that no one else can fill: ‘to empower children not to feel afraid of the world in which they live’. B.A.C.A. Members are always welcome to participate in outside activities as bikers who happen to be members of B.A.C.A..
3. It’s not about you, it’s not about me; it’s about the kids.
JADE: Since being part of B.A.C.A., what is one memory that stands out above most others concerning a child?
GURU: Hard to say… The look of relief on the young girl’s face on my first child ride. The Mom called the next day to say she had slept in her own bed and through the night for the first time in months. Powerful stuff…
JADE: Is there anything you would like to see B.A.C.A. become involved in that it is not currently doing?
GURU: No. As I said, we have a narrow mission. We strive to keep it from being diluted. We are not political in nature, not money oriented, fund raising is done to empower kids… Counseling mostly or some activity that empowers them – martial arts, art, writing. Different for each kid.
JADE: What is B.A.C.A. Nation?
GURU: It is four members of B.A.C.A. trying to help kids by making the public aware of – and the help B.A.C.A. can provide kids through this radio program.
JADE: How did you come up with the idea of a radio show dedicated to the spirit of B.A.C.A.?
GURU: Actually started out as a way to share info between the few B.A.C.A. chapters in the beginning. It has grown far beyond our original vision.
JADE: What would you like to see from B.A.C.A. Nation three years from now?
GURU: That B.A.C.A. Nation and B.A.C.A. would not HAVE to exist. That somehow child abuse in all forms had been eradicated. Barring that – for the show to continue to expand its reach in spreading the word that as individuals you can make a difference just by pointing a family in need towards the help B.A.C.A. can provide.
JADE: Do you have any message you would like to tell people – parents, guardians, children, or even abusers – about child abuse?
GURU: Child Abuse in all its forms is something that does not have to exist. It is not like cancer or other medical maladies that require incredible amounts of research to unlock the human genome to cure. Make a difference, say no! Walk away. Get help. And children are not equipped and do not have the life experience to be able to make a wise and informed decision about ‘consensual’ sex. They are kids for God’s sake, let them be that.
The design is complete! Well, sort of. The spirit is a go and the concept is here. I’m in the process of working with Strings to make this an actual medal to be awarded to volunteer defenders of children.
These are the two designs we are discussing (yes, they are dark but won’t be so much in the end):
The shield and sword are Viking design (I’ll get to that in a moment), the central bow is the Child’s Purple Heart I designed several years ago, and the tone is in consideration with the bronze metal that will be used for the physical award (thus the darkness because I don’t know how dark bronze is supposed to look).
I designed the wingless version first. After re-reading the spirit I composed for the award, I realized it was missing the idea of wings. Hence, the second version. However, I’m not sure how this will translate to the real medal, which is what Strings is currently playing around with in wax mold.
Every thing I design has meaning – from the shape to the color and the cultural history, itself. Being that I am proud of my noble Viking heritage, and in the spirit of awarding children, survivors, and defenders with a symbol awarded to combatants and victims of war, I chose such items in that respect. The wings can be viewed as the Christian guardian angel or the Valkyrie. It makes no difference to me, as long as the wings are seen as the softer side of what we do: the compassion, tenderness, understanding, and love of the child and the innocence we fight so hard to protect.
I have written this short descriptive for all those honored with this award:
Jeg er guardian angel til den uskyldige, hevn til de skyldige
Compassion, Protection, Self-Sacrifice
I am guardian angel to the innocent, vengeance to the guilty.
I will have the three words around the medal when awarding to online entities, but it is agreed that on the medal will make it too busy.
As you can see, I’ve opted to only have the purple heart in color. The color-block bow is for children. This symbol on this medal is for the adult protectors and represents them as such.
If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, constructive criticism, or praise, please feel free to leave your comment. Indicate it is private if you wish not to share with the public.
Keep in mind that this design may not be final and is reflective of how it will look in bronze metal form. Any changes, however, will be minimal and will not adversely affect the copyright I have turned in to the Library of Congress. I wanted to let you guys know the progress and get any helpful input before any final decision is made, and I will be posting a follow-up when the piece is complete.
In addition to this award, which will be granted to people and organizations who have gone above and beyond to defend abused children – sexual and non-sexual, speak when they could not, and protect the laws abusers work so hard to break down, I have offered BACA the use of the Child’s Purple Heart to be made into a small pin and distributed to the children under their wing.
I will have a new post about this as soon as the agreed upon finalization comes to pass. It is my design, yes, but I am not a medalsmith and know nothing of how feesable any design might be or how the cost of production is affected by design. That is why I am working with Strings, who has been such an incredible help in all this – the design process as well as how we can get these to the defenders and the children. I’d like to thank him, too, for suggesting the Child’s Purple Heart be offered to BACA children. I was deeply touched for his idea and honored to do so.