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Speak Up

I will never fully recover from being sexually abused and that’s OK.

It’s given me empathy.

I’m not bitter or mad, but after November 8th I’m afraid.

Allowing Trump to exist says we are abandoning all those that need our help. Collectively they’ve been thrown under the bus.

It seems America has said they will no longer stand up, step up and speak up for those in need.

So now it comes back to us. You and me.

Here’s why I know this.

When I told my mother that my step-father had been sexually abusing me for three years she said not to worry, she would make sure I was never alone with him again. Unfortunately this is a typical reaction of not confronting the abuser but sidestepping the problem. Other family members viewed my allegations as trumped up lies and innuendo. They bought his deceit and claims of innocence. He lied well. Everyone wanted to believe him. If we could just all get along everything would be OK.

In the end I was abandoned.

The bully won. The sexual abuser won. The con man won.

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my step father

Is this starting to sound familiar?

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the other guy

Now think about some fifteen year old gay kid living in South Dakota. Or the young Muslim from Chicago. Or that disabled child in Indianapolis.

All they’re seeing is that a bully will now be running the show and making up rules that can hurt them. He will have that power and people are following his lead.

The masses believe his lies about being great again. Fear is not great.

So now it’s our turn to step up. It’s our obligation.

You see, my fifteen year old self became convinced I was wrong to tell the truth. I was worthless. The people in charge didn’t care. During those dark days I thought no one cared.

It doesn’t have to be this way… If someone speaks up things can change.

Years later, my 20 year old self was having an after work beer with some office mates. These friends knew my story. Our boss started to tell us what he would do if he ever met my step-father. He was from Glasgow and only someone with that accent could describe a grisly death in such a comical way.

We all laughed and my heart was mended.

Finally someone was saying “I will stand up for you.”

It’s what every child needs.

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Take A Stand

I’ve never been a Miley Cyrus fan. I don’t like the sound of her voice. I’ve always dissed her and her public image. It was fun and became a joke with my friends.

Miley’s news this week made my decision take a serious turn. She appears in Woody Allen’s next film and has said, “Until I know someone and I know their story, I never really judge anyone. That’s kind of how I went into it. From the way I saw him with his family, I never saw him be anything but an incredible person and a really great dad.”

This is where I take my stand and draw the line.

Anyone that appears in a Woody Allen movie is dead to me. I make sure I never do anything that will support their career. End of. They are dead.

I’ve written about this before…  http://triciabarker.com/believe-me/  Woody Allen has been accused of child molestation. His daughter still proclaims he did it, Allen denies it all.

My only question for Miley would be, “If you had a young daughter would you allow her to spend the night alone with Woody Allen?”

If the answer is yes, you’re either lying or a fool.

I was sad when Justin Timberlake also decided to join in, then Kate Winslet. Damn. I like her movies, I like his music. Now they are dead to me.

And I’m pissed that Miley is appearing on one of my favourite shows, The Voice. I fast forward through all her segments and pray she doesn’t come back next season.

Yes, this might sound ridiculous. But it’s the only thing I know how to do.

I accused my step-father of sexually abusing me. I said it because he was sexually abusing me.

At the time no one believed me. That didn’t make him less guilty. It only meant he was able to convince everyone that he was innocent and I was lying.

Since then I’ve vowed to stand by children and take their side.

And before you get upset and talk about false accusations: I will admit that can happen. But I will always opt to believe and protect the child. Always.

Miley and Justin and Kate won’t care about my stand.

I only do it for my twelve year old self that should never have been left alone with a monster.

 

 

 

Bikers Against Child Abuse

This morning I woke up without an idea for today’s blog. After a couple of minutes looking at my Twitter feed the topic became obvious. My friends were back!

Trump and fires and where the rich are hiding their money can only divert our attention for a few news cycles.

Woody is back! Ghomeshi was taking up space near him! Even Facebook stepped up and asked if I wanted to be “friends” with the man that abused me. The day’s direction was clear.

I’ll write about a gang of bikers.

It’s shocking I’d never heard about these people before: The BACA, “Bikers Against Child Abusers.”

Why should I care?

I’m not a survivor of child abuse because I didn’t survive. I only cope. And that’s after years of counseling and growth. The abuse did give me the gift of empathy. Not only do I know what it’s like to be abused but I know what it’s like to not have anyone defend you. Not be listened to. Not be believed.

When I was still a teenager, my boss at the recording studio explained how he would kill my step-father for what he did to me. We laughed. His plan was hilarious. But more important, he was the first person that stepped up to defend me. He was going to make sure I was never hurt again. What a concept. What a gift.

These bikers from BACA do the same.

Once I heard about them I started reading the stories and watching their videos. I was happy to hear each and every one has to go through an extensive police check. They are vetted.

Then they defend the kids. They stand behind them, beside them and even in front of them. Day or night. Whatever it takes.

They look like a mean bunch but give themselves names like Scooter and Pooh Bear to be more kid-friendly.

I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to have them near me when I finally spoke up.

There is a chapter in Vancouver and it gave me great joy to read their mission statement,

Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends….

They say more but I love that they end with:

We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner, however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.

“They stand ready to be that obstacle.”  They would have protected me.

I only have two pictures of that time in my life.

This one is dark and I might be smiling. All I remember is my nights were filled with horror.

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I needed a Biker Gang to come and save me.