Welcome to a place where you can open your heart, free your mind, unpack your emotional baggage, and share your personal tragedy (sexual, physical, verbal, mental abuse) anonymously. A place where you can be encouraged and empowered, when you see how your tragedy can be turned into TRIUMPH! Look through your tears and see how far you have already climbed up the mountain. Learn how much healing there is in writing down your experiences and seeing just how much you can grown over time.

I Was,... But Now I...
You don't have to be considered "crazy" to benefit from counseling. A counselor can help you pull out all the garbage that's hidden deep within. Counselors ask the tough questions that a person may not consider on their own, to help you get to the root of your problem. You must believe that in the end, the healing that takes place in your mind will far outweigh anyone's opinion of you. There is no amount of money in the world that can buy another YOU. You cannot be cloned. So, surround yourself with positive people, only those who bring joy into your life. Get rid of the dream killers and live the live you were meant to live. 
When we don't break the silence in our families, we are allowing it to go on generation after generation. Drugs, alcoholism, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, poverty, crime, promiscuity, anger, and the list goes on. You have to Talk to Start the STOP!
Dear Me: Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
Dear Me: Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one. Get a new point of reference. Don't just remember the bad when you have a new opportunity to create good.
Dear Me: Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with 
the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

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Nicole Cleveland
Author of "So He Cheated, Now What?"
Healing Marriages  - One Page at a Time

Check out www.breatheagainmagazine.org

The Numbers on Sexual Soul Ties

‎"When you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with for the past 10 years, and everyone they and their partners have had sex with for the last 10 years."~ C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General

If you have had 12 sexual partners in your lifetime, you have been exposed to at least 4,095 people (If you don't think spirits are transferred through sexual contact, you'd better think again). And you wonder why you can't get yourself together... You'd better ask God to help you gather your soul together and get your mind back.
By the time you finish reading this tweet, child sexual abuse will have claimed the innocence of hundreds of children all around the world.
It is very interesting how much the mind will suppress in order to avoid pain.
A lack of adult responsibility has played a major role in the sexual abuse of many children. Are you watching, as well as praying for them?
If you know of someone who needs your help or if you have lived through sexual abuse, don't become a victim twice. Silence Breeds Violence!
Wounds that go unhealed, along with all the other pressures of life, can make the strongest person lose control. Pressure Does Bursts Pipes!
Too many adults are robbing children of their childhoods. Keep your eyes open and help stop statutory rape and all types of sexual abuse!
So often people think that a person must show disruptive behavior to be in trouble, but that is not necessarily true.
There's something addictive and sickening about the need for attention. It makes people do stupid things.
Being alone with yourself can be a frightening experience if you don't know who you are. Keeping busy is another symptom, not the solution.
Often a child (ages 4-6) does not understand what is happening to them is wrong, so as far as they are concerned, there is nothing to tell.
Sexual molestation goes on in every family. It crosses all borders, regardless of race, economic status, or social class.
Some are living with sexual predators in their homes. Parents, grandparents, siblings, relatives, family friends, guests, and babysitters.
Sexual assault does not have to take place over a long period of time. It can be one quick offense that can change a person's life forever.
You don't have to live in fear, but still be careful of anyone who may have unsupervised close contact with your children. Watch and listen!
97% of sexual offenders are male who are on average 10 years older than their victims.
Females are more often perpetrators of child molestation in child-care settings, including babysitting.
Brother-sister incest is the most common form of incest, but not the most commonly reported.
Sexual abuse by stepfathers is 5 times higher than among natural fathers. The most common age on onset of abuse is age 10.
Abuse of daughters by fathers/stepfathers is the most common form of reported incest. The mother is often unavailable to the father or ill. Most often that mother has also been a victim of abuse as well.
Adolescent males may not be trained to recognize sexual activity with an older female as a form or abuse. Most consider it a dream come true.

Still I Rise By: Maya Angelou

Still I Rise 
By: Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Sitting With The Shattered Soul

Sitting With The Shattered Soul

So how do you sit with a shattered soul? 
Gently, with gracious and deep respect. 
Patiently, for time stands still for the shattered, and 
the momentum of healing will be slow at first. 
With the tender strength that comes from an openness 
To your own deepest wounding, 
and to your own deepest healing. 
Firmly, never wavering in the utmost conviction that 
evil is powerful, but there is a good 
that is more powerful still. 
Stay connected to that goodness with all your being, 
however it manifests itself to you. 
Give freely. Take in abundantly. 
Find your safety, your refuge, and go there as you need. 
Words won't always come; 
sometime there are no words 
in the face of such tragic evil. 
But in your own willingness to be with them, 
they will hear you; 
from soul to soul 
they will hear that for which there are no words. 
When you can, in your own time, 
turn and face that deep chasm within. 
Let go. Grieve, rage, shed.

Steele, K. (1987). Sitting with the shattered soul. Pilgrimage: 
Journal of personal exploration and psychotherapy, 15, 6, 19-25.

Survivor Psalm

Survivor Psalm

I have been victimized.
I was in a fight that was
not a fair fight.
I did not ask for the fight.
I lost.
There is no shame in losing
such fights.
I have reached the stage of
survivor and am no longer a
slave of victim status.
I look back with sadness
rather than hate.
I look forward with hope
rather than despair.
I may never forget, but I need
not constantly remember.
I was a victim.
I am a survivor.

© Frank Ochberg, MD & Gift From Within-http://www.giftfromwithin.org

Another Woman

Another Woman

Today another woman died
and not on a foreign field
and not with a rifle strapped to her back,
and not with a large defense of tanks
rumbling and rolling behind her.
She died without CNN covering her war.
She died without talk of intelligent bombs
and strategic targets
The target was simply her face, her back
her pregnant belly.
The target was her precious flesh
that was once composed like music
in her mother’s body and sung
in the anthem of birth.
The target was this life
that had lived its own dear wildness,
had been loved and not loved,
had danced and not danced.
A life like yours or mine
that had stumbled up
from a beginning
and had learned to walk
and had learned to read.
and had learned to sing.
Another woman died today.
not far from where you live;
Just there, next door where the tall light
falls across the pavement.
Just there, a few steps away
where you’ve often heard shouting,
Another woman died today.
She was the same girl
her mother used to kiss;
the same child you dreamed
beside in school.
The same baby her parents
walked in the night with
and listened and listened and listened
For her cries even while they slept.
And someone has confused his rage
with this woman’s only life.

-Carol Geneya Kaplan

Fear Poem By: Joy Harjo

Fear Poem
By: Joy Harjo

I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear. 
I release you. You were my beloved and hated twin,
but now, I don't know you as myself. 
I release you with all the pain 
I would know at the death of my children.

You are not my blood anymore.
I give you back to the white soldiers
who burned down my home, beheaded my children,
raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.

I give you back to those who stole the
food from our plates when we were starving.
I release you, fear, because you hold
these scenes in front of me and I was born
with eyes that can never close.

I release you
I release you
I release you
I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black.
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved,
to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.
I take myself back, fear.

You are not my shadow any longer.
I won't take you in my hands.
You can't live in my eye, my ears, my voice
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart
But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
of dying.
In the wake of the allegations of the Penn State scandal, please take this time to talk to your children and empower them about sexual abuse. Very few victims (8%) receive medical care for the worst incident of child sexual victimization. Only 10% make police reports, and only 33% ever spoke to a counselor at any time after the event. Can you image the actual amount of occurrences?

Protecting Your Child from Sexual Abuse

Nine Questions to ask of your child's existing or prospective program and the answers you should expect to hear.

I Have the Right to Protection

To be sure your child is safe, make sure any program you are considering has a more comprehensive approach to preventing sexual and other forms of child abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has defined six key components of a comprehensive approach to keeping kids safe. These include:
·         Screening and selecting employees and volunteers
·         Guidelines on interactions between individuals
·         Monitoring behavior
·         Ensuring safe physical environments
·         Responding to inappropriate behavior, breaches in policy, and allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse
·         Training about child sexual abuse
The organization or program should be knowledgeable about who sexually abuses children and what puts children at risk to be abused. Ask how they screen employees and volunteers and be wary if they rely solely on criminal background checks. They should use written applications and personal interviews to learn about what previous experience someone has working with youth and to identify any potential warning signs.  For example, some people who sexually abuse children spend all of their time with children or youth and do not have any relationships (friendships, significant partners, co-workers) with adults.
No. Criminal background checks can give a false sense of security. Because the vast majority of child sexual abuse goes unreported, the vast majority of people who have sexually abused children will pass a criminal background check.
Too often, organizations serving kids rely solely on background checks to determine whether a person is safe to work with children. This is a very low bar. People who have sexually abused children will pass a criminal background check unless the abuse has been reported, prosecuted as a sexual crime, and the person has been found guilty.
Reference checks provide important opportunities to learn more about an applicant’s experience. When asking for references, programs should require applicants to include non-family members and should watch for gaps in references and ask about them. For example, if an applicant spent three years working at a child care facility but doesn’t list anyone from the facility as a reference, this should be discussed to understand why.
Organizations should have a policy regarding staff and youth interactions. Does the code include examples of positive interactions or is it so focused on what not to do that your child could miss out on appropriate, encouraging interaction? Are you comfortable with how they define appropriate and inappropriate interactions?
All the policies in the world won’t do any good unless they are observing interactions and taking action as needed. Organizations who take seriously the safety of children understand the importance of both observation and taking action. What procedures does the organization have for monitoring interactions? What is the procedure for bringing up concerns about interactions between adults or older youth and children? Who is designated to handle these concerns?
Safety in the physical layout can be too often overlooked. Are all areas of the space visible to others or could someone bring a child into a corner or closet without being seen by others? Do doors have windows or are they kept open so anyone walking by can see how staff are interacting with children? When you visit the space, think about how easy or difficult it will be for staff to monitor interactions. Would it be easy for someone from outside the program to gain access? Can anyone walk in or do you need to sign in?
You want to be certain that they have policies and procedures in place to deal with not only evidence of sexual abuse but breaches in policies and concerning behaviors. Some situations require an internal response while others should be handled by authorities. Organizations with policies in place are better equipped to handle concerns than those who have not.
Training is another way that organizations send a message to staff and volunteers that they are serious about keeping children safe from abuse. Training should include information on how to identify signs of abuse and when it is appropriate to make a referral. They should also know what the procedures are for making a referral and the designated staff person to handle these referrals. Training should be ongoing and refresher courses available.
It is important that even temporary staff and volunteers are made aware of the school’s child protection policy and mechanism for reporting any concerns and allegations. Some organizations even provide training to parents and other caregivers because they know the importance of knowledgeable adults in keeping children safe.

Child Abuse at Penn State

Woody Column: Paterno did what was required, but not what was needed.

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Larie Norvell knows a little something  about using SEX as a weapon Sexually abused as a child, she learned early on that sex could be used to change minds and influence others.
She is not alone, many women and men have used Sexto influence the outcome of decisions. Even in marriage.
Listen as Nicole Cleveland interviewsLarie Norvell, author of "My Heart Speaks" - inspired by Luke 6:45, the book shares her journey to spiritual maturation through cancer, sexual abuse, having children, and other various tests of my faith, character, and sanity.
These things have taught Larie that a life of "mess" has a MESSage.

Just Yell Fire!

Just Yell Fire™ - Free Movie Download

Just Yell Fire™ Stops Abuse, Campus Violence, Sexual Assault & Abduction of High School and College Age Girls. Free Self Defense Film plus Date Rape & Abduction Prevention Tips From Dallas Jessup, America's Best Known Teen Safety Advocate.

Hey Richmond, VA, catch the Stop Child Abuse youth program going on at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, Saturday Oct 15th from 10a - 3p.

RAINN's Online Hotline: Free. Safe. Confidential

Mick Foley Challenges Others to Join the Fight

You're Not Alone: National Sexual Assault Online Hotlines

Otep Shamaya Speaks Out Against Violence

Get Help Now! National Sexual Assault Hotlines

Reducing Your Risk: Prevention Is Your Weapon

Reporting The Crime

Passion growing, purpose becoming more clear. Too many hurting people afraid to live. We have to stop Rape, Abuse, Incest, and Molestation.

Call 1-800-656-HOPE or visit www.rainn.org for help today!
Sexual abuse is not just physical. Abuse is also misusing your authority. Exposing a child to sexual material is also a form of sexual abuse.
5 traumas will generally arrest normal development in a prepubescent child: rejection (neglect), incest, molestation, emotional, and physical abuse.
A child who is unequipped to deal with the emotions attached to trauma will accept responsibility for the incident.

Listen to internet radio with breatheagainmagazine on Blog Talk Radio

How would you feel if you found out you were conceived by rape? Would you be angry ? How about bitter ? 

Elder John Donelson is a husband,father,Man of God, business owner, writer and an inspiration to many.

For years he knew there was something missing in his life.

At the age of 38 he discovered the shocking secret of his conception. His mother was raped and chose to keep the innocent child- that child was John. Read "The Missing Pieces 2 My Purpose."

Listen as Nicole Cleveland talks to John candidly about his feelings, his struggles and his purpose.

John and his wife Charlene founded a ministry titled Arrested Development . The title is used to describe the occurrence in the human body when a person has experienced something so traumatic in their childhood that it may allow them to grow physically, but be still stunted in their emotional, relational, and spiritual development.

John is also a writer for Breathe Again Magazine. Join us as we talk about his latest article, " A Man's Pride"