"Reaching Out Child Abuse Monument"
Sculptor: Michael C. Irving, Ph.D.
There's a child crying in her sleep
in the darkness she'll sit and weep
We should all look out for her
she's so frightened and unsure
If she'll reach her hand to us
and to help you know we must
For there in a corner sits a frightened child
So your voice must be gentle very mild
Take her from her hiding place
where she's sealed inside a case
Hold her close don't let her go
that she's loved let her know.
You will ask who the child may be
the child is you, the child is me.
written at age 12
This Square is Dedicated
to Helen and Perry Dunlap
for Their Heroism
in Taking a Stand
to Create a Safer World
"Stand up for wehat is
Even if you're standing alone."
Know that my
and spirit will do all
in this world to protect children.
You are loved.
Have you even been happy?
Have you ever thought that you were important?
Have you ever had a child?
Have you ever had a child tell you that they love
Have you ever had someone look up to you?
Has anyone around you died and you didn’t know
what to do so you just cried because you thought that
was the right thing to do?
Do you know what love is?
Have you ever been in love?
Or, do you feel that love is just a word people use
so they can feel like they belong?
Why I’m asking is because I don’t know
S. (Age 17)
SILENCE IS DEADLY
Death can be brought on by depression
self-destruction, if you allow it.
I wanted to talk to get relief, Inner peace;
but I was nervous about whether or not
I would be believed.
My children mean everything to me.
My sweet, beautiful daughter - Hope, I love you.
My handsome young boys; D.J. (Derek Jr), Tanner
and last but definitely not least, Dakota, aka Dak.
All four just bring a smile to my face
and brighten my day.
How could someone want to commit suicide
four beautiful children, a loving wife, parents
that love and care about me, and a great and extremely
wonderful caring, sweet, giving grandmother
to whom I could never give half of what
she has given me.
HOW CAN I HELP?
I sit here in wonderement
At the stories people tell
Of their sad and lonely voyage
Through their own private hell.
I try to share their feelings
Of the battles they have known,
But someone on the outside
Can never feel it in their bones.
All I truly have to offer
Is one sympathetic ear.
I trust it will be helpful
As they overcome their fear.
I will try to be here for them
Try to help them on their way.
May I always show compassion
‘Til they find their freedom day.
Physical pain, hard
mental anguish, hard
the hardest thing of all - what it does to the core
Silent not by choice
but by force
He is supposed to protect - but he kills - me
Despite the pain
Today I am stronger
conscious of the silent pain in others
No words pass
but so much said
silence speak loud
if people listen
not with ears but with hearts
abuse is not confined to any one group or social
class; it cuts across all ethnic, religious, social
and economic backgrounds." -
Everyone has a personal responsibility
to protect our children, to uphold their rights
-- this will benefit of all members of society.
There is a need to recognize the
general complicity of society in the patterns of
abusive behaviour that are inherited over generations
and through cultural influences.
There is a need to promote the identification
and naming of abusive behaviour in the public domain.
There is a fear of labeling. Society
must recognize that people are more than their abuse
issues. This is important for the abused and the
abuser in us because it creates the space for healing.
There is a need for a community driven
response to prevent child abuse and to provide support
and assistance for survivors of child abuse. Child
abuse needs to be recognized as a social problem,
not only a private problem. Communities need to
take ownership of the issues of child abuse and
take responsibility in responding.
The media can play more of a part
in making the connection between violence having
roots in child abuse.
The public needs to make the connection
between abused kids and people in jail, living on
the street, dropping out of school, battling repeated
illnesses, coping with addictions and acting out
violently and aggressively.
We must target strategies that will
help all of us develop new patterns of beliefs and
behaviours relating to child abuse. Education should
inform not only on what is wrong but also "what
Needs assessments should look at
community resources to help individuals stop child
abuse and fill in gaps in services. It is important
to have in each community, accessible and coordinated.
of resources and services for the treatment of individuals
and families. Each communitys response to
abuse must be evaluated, and adapted as change occurs.
We need further development of centralized
referral sources such as the Advocacy Centre in
Guelph and the National Advocacy Centre in the U.S.A.
An important part of prevention is
creating public awareness through education, starting
with our children.
Additional government funding and
educational support are needed to further develop
If you feel frustrated by the plight
of abused children, you can make a difference. For
example, you could contact your Member of Parliament,
lobby for changes to the criminal justice system
or write letters to the editors of your local newspapers.
Governments should be lobbied to develop policies
which address the issues and concerns of child abuse.
Strategic members of the community
need to be advocates to bridge gaps by lobbying
governments to develop effective policies which
address the issues and concerns of child abuse.
There needs to be national and annual
conferences on child abuse and neglect.
Would you want to wait 6 months for
heart surgery...abused children often wait longer
Speak out when you see child abuse
happen. Name it, and when you are told to mind your
own business, affirm that, "Children are everyone's
Abuse in Our Communities
Each community must take responsibility
for abuse, and acknowledge that there are problems.
By taking ownership, community driven responses
can be developed. Unique, easily accessible resources
must be developed, covering the spectrum of services:
intervention, treatment, prevention and awareness.
Responsibilities and roles must be
identified within each community. The public must
be educated to believe that abuse is a social problem,
not a private problem. Child abuse must be defined
and demystified. Laws must be changed.
The abuser and abused exists in all
of us. Our abusive beliefs and patterns are inherited.
We need to identify generational abusive patterns.
There is also a need to define all abuse, including
different definitions of abuse by culture.
As a community responding, we all
need to learn new ways to respond, but we cannot
help people change patterns until they have empathy.
Survivors must be part of the response
within the community. Empathy is developed by being
able to recognize body feelings, by role playing
the same and different feelings about an incident,
and by developing parenting strategies for a safer
It must become mandatory for the
system to use resources to change perpetrators
behaviours, not to just throw them in jail.
Resources are also needed for early
intervention. Children do not know what is inappropriate
when their home behaviour is dysfunctional. Schools
need to educate about child abuse issues, beginning
in kindergarten. They need a well-defined sexual
Adolescents make up 30% of perpetrators
of sexual abuse. When educating in schools, help
numbers must be handed out to all kids. Communities
and sub-communities must publish lists of places
that survivors can go to access help.
Support and follow up must be in
place when children disclose abuse.
As well, we must make it safe to
disclose. Survivors need to feel that they will
be believed and protected. The police need to become
better educated in order to respond more effectively
to cases of abuse and sexual abuse.
We also need cooperation amongst
agencies in each community to develop a coordinated.
approach to helping, including links between the
childrens aid and the police.
Issues and Concerns
Poverty creates issues of access
to resources, and this is extremely stressful. As
well, we need to look at individual versus community
responses to abuse. How do we respond to abuse in
our community? What does healthy look
Children must come first. We need
to ask questions like it looks like youre
having a really hard day, is there something I can
do to help? and respond nonjudgementally to
the answer. We can offer to help a single parent
in our neighbourhood by giving him or her some time
The public needs help to know when
to report child abuse. They need help to learn where
their responsibility lies, as well as education
around the signs and symptoms of abuse.
— March 24, 2010 — This is a video
that me and some group members put together for
a project for my community building class at Humber
College, Lakeshore campus.
had to create a massive presentation on a topic
of our choice (had to be relative to community building)
and we chose Child Abuse. We were to create a powerpoint
presentation, have a youtube video, a real life
10 min interview with an agency that is relative
to our topic, and a community initiative (we did
a fundraiser). Along with that and more, we had
the chance to interview a man named Michael C. Irving,
a pshycotherapist, and sculpter. He created two
monuments called the Child Abuse Survivor Monument
to commemorate all those who have been affected
and survived child abuse in their lives. It is made
up of bronze metal square quilts, each containing
a sculpted hand of the victim and a message.
was the most inspiring piece of art we ever saw,
and was completely short of breath when we witnessed
it in person. As a group we made a video slideshow,
presented in class, of this monument and because
it is such a special statue and has a special story
to it, I would like to share this video with all
who wish to watch it.
Abuse is not a topic many people want to hear or
talk about but it is real and happens everyday.
Some have died facing the abuse they have known
all their lives. I hope you watch this and get an
idea of just an ounce of what thousands of children
across the world endure. Enjoy, and spread the word.-- Natasha Vincent and Humber
of the song and artist used in the video I made
is called "This Moment" by Nic Chagall
feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn
ON HOW TO
RESPOND TO ABUSE
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Symposium: Symposium Notes: Working Together To
Make all Recreation Safe. Parks and Recreation
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keep silent. If someone is violent, a child's life my be on the line. Intervention
is Prevention. Julie
It's too important to forget. Please help stop the abuse. Children
are the target. It starts with one person.
"It's everyone's problem."
If you suspect child abuse Don't give up. Make someone listen.
Wipe out child abuse. Uncover a buried smile. Natalie
"Big" Little Sister, "Little" Big
Sister. Meredith, age 18 Beth, age 21
Protect all children.
Stop the violence. It is my business… One hundred years from
now it won’t make any difference how many things I had –
But the world may be a better place because I was important in
the life of a child. GET INVOLVED!!
Stop the Violence Help Kids Live.
People have to learn not to abuse kids.
I was abused! The cycle stopped with me!
Never give up on your rights to be treated with respect. Please be
strong and brave and tell someone who can help stop the pain. Now
is the time to heal. My prayers are with you all. Cindy and Isiah