Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

Confrontation with Adversity
Humble is the Coat of "Hero"
Need for Commemorative Memorial
"Lest We Forget"
Fulfilling The Heroes Role of Contribution
Assisting Heroes in Healing



Under the greatest of adversity -- the best of humanity arises. During war and catastrophe people step forward with a greater degree of resourcefulness and effort. Their selfless commitment to others reaches heroic proportions. In myth and legend throughout the world and throughout history heroes gain their lessons of strength and wisdom from confronting the lair or desert of adversity. The venturer returns from the hero's journey with strengths and wisdom that remain the essence of the spirit of the hero and are of benefit to others.

Sexual abuse is a tragic adversity inflicted on innocent children. It wounds with long-lasting consequences. It also demands a child find some place inside to be strong -- extra effort in order to cope and survive. All abused children have to bring forward in themselves strengths and resiliencies of heroic proportions. Just to survive and go on is a heroic feat.

Searching for the images and
messages to create a quilt square
was a hero's journey as each participant
confronted inner demons of long ago.



Let the Body Speak

Sun-dogged mornings, biting cold
in Northern Minnesota.
Sparkling snow,
Frost on the young men's whiskers,
This was us, we were young.

The mare, Kate, the huge work-horse
that Charley bought from Olaf,
(Sly devil that he was, for all our
labour - he sold us a horse with
bowed front legs.)
But in the early mornings, her
bowed legs, her
huge body
Didn't matter.
She pranced in the lines, glad to be alive
And eager to get to work.

My own body - reclaimed.
Not sagged under the weight of denial.
It happened.
This is what happened,
And also _____





Turned to Stone

The pain is too large
It radiates in my bones
The darkness is so deep
I'm curled up all alone

I long to see the sun
To heal and warm my pain
I'd even settle for clouds
or sheets of pouring rain

In this dark cold room
Where all my hope is lost
I sit so very still
Knowing this has a cost

Slowly the door opens
A shaft of sunlight comes in
Hesitantly I crawl out
Now my healing can begin

In plaster, wood and wax
I lay my broken life down
Realizing with each small step
I've finally come into my own





Only Five Not Alive

Only five -not alive.
Made me cry - want to die.
A black hole without light.
Will I give up this fight?
How many years to go to peace?
Will I be alive?



Speaking of the abuse of children over the twentieth century Charles L. Whitfield, stated:

"About 50,000 names are etched into the Vietnam War Memorial. If we made a memorial to children who have been sexually abused, it would be more than 1300 times the size of the Vietnam memorial. If we included other forms of child abuse it would be more than 7500 times its size. But these are souls lost in a betrayal and wounding that is so deep that most are unable to heal and reconnect with self, others and God without long-term recovery."

A child's contribution to the
monument declares, "Child abuse
will die like many of its victims".



There is Hope

My thoughts
sifting though my hands
drizzling onto the sand
becoming an ever-changing
perception of my life – or lives.
My life, which conjuncts so often
and so closely with the lives of others
the many lives I've seen and heard tell of
point to one thing
an unnecessary tragedy of existence
which must stop.
And there is hope now that it can stop
If we can continue to all listen
and change and help where we can.
Then it will finally not have been in vain
all of this suffering, we will suffer for our children
That our children won't suffer
And we will finally grow.

These eyes which look out of my face, which have seen much, are the only part of me which exists in this world. The rest of me, in my entirety, languishes in another galaxy. However full and rich that place may be, it has been so very solitary, unshared.




How can I help?
I want to leave my personal mark.
Is it possible with this rough raw clump
I call myself?
Wounds are to register in this image.
Hacking life in a mold with cuts and abrasions.
I hear the scream to break the silence
And feel the connection in my fingertips.
Listening has been my venue to release this form.
My pain gives it the lines and the textured detail.
This is my art, my venue.
Reaching out to smooth and polish
What I call my soul.

Kathryn Bolton

When I Was Lost

When I was lost in dark despair
down in the dead of night,
from deep within my soul cried out,
and bitter was the night.
I dreamed I saw a little child
who knew the Way within.
He drew me by his innocence,
so pure, pristine and good.
When all was dark and I was blind
still he perceived the Light.
He held my hand till I beheld
the beauty, truth and light.
And when I strayed he waited there
until I found myself.
Stay with me gentle, spirit guide
along the Sacred Way.




Like all heroes, the child abuse survivor is humble to the coat of "hero" and will cast off their well earned title of hero. Typically the hero will say, "I was there, I simply did what I had to do. What anyone would have done." The reality is the hero has come face to face with adversity and has been forced to call forward a special essence of the soul.

The child abuse survivor most often has had to face the tragic demon of the perpetrator on many occasions. The confrontation with adversity is many fold. Yet, when others say, "You are so strong", or "You are such a role model", the child abuse survivor is at a loss to respond to those labels. Beyond the humility of the hero, the abuse has left a legacy of shame, worthlessness and isolation. The emotional wounds from the battle of child abuse obscures from awareness and ownership the strengths that are employed to go another day and meet worldly tasks.

Angela providing support to Cherlyn
during a long, emotional and
very empowering workshop.




In the early 1990's suggestions of the need for a child abuse memorial began to appear in the literature and in discussions on child abuse. Correlations were being made between the effectiveness of the Vietnam Nam War Memorial for personal and social healing and the needs of child abuse survivors and the community that was grappling with the proportions of child abuse in our society.

Clearly, child abuse has been a secret war which has ravished the souls and spirits of far too many children. Sue stated, "When the Vietnam Memorial Wall went up, I wanted a "wall" for me to be able to go to, even though at that time I did not understand why. When I read about The Survivor Monument Project it matched that thirty year old feeling. In completing a sculpted quilt square for the Monument I felt a deep sense of freedom in myself, and a deep feeling of pride that I stood up to honour my self and every survivor of child abuse.

Memorial monuments are society's acknowledgment of individuals who have been confronted with grave adversity. In 1990, sculptor Michael Irving, Ph.D., initially conceived of a plan for a memorial for survivors of child abuse. The Child Abuse Survivor Monument, "Reaching Out," provides the tragedy of child abuse with the tangible power of a commemorative memorial.




Hundreds of survivors have risen to participate in creating this epic landmark memorializing the reality of child abuse. All were sculpting with the deepest passion to protect children and to make a difference in the lives of others. "Reaching Out" became a collaborative work incorporating the artistic contribution of nearly 300 sculpted quilt squares of survivors of childhood abuse and their supporters.

J. wants her quilt square, "to be on the Monument, sealed forever with other survivors' creations, right out there for society to experience their courage and victories to overcome such horrendous criminal offenses against child-humanity."

A theme of each square is the sculpted hand of participants. The hands create a powerful image of real survivors and their allies. Like the names on the Vietnam Nam Memorial, the hands remove the distance of an unidentified "them." Tracy declares, "I want my quilt square to add the message that child abuse has a name and a face. Often it is easy to ignore what can be hidden".




J. sees the collective hero's journey of survivors stepping forward to create a place on the Monument as making a contribution to others, "Like the great Phoenix who flies up and out of the ashes to reclaim life and freedom. My hope is that society will see the flight and the ashes and the power of sharing and that the children of today and of tomorrow will thus be spared the need to 'survive' their childhood. "

The Monument and this web site contains the war stories of those who have gone through child abuse or who have lived with and supported a child abuse survivor.

The images and writings of project participants hold the wisdom gained from the heroes who went into battle to confront both internal and external dragons and demons. They are shared with all survivors and their supporters in recognition that each one is on their own hero's journey whose ultimate benefit will be a more compassionate world for children.

Visit the

Quilt Square
Meditation Pools




"Reaching Out," will be the first major National Monument to acknowledge survivors of child abuse. It is highly appropriate that Canada, a country noted as a world peacemaker, will be first, through this memorial, to acknowledge the "war" of child abuse. According to J., "Through the Monument I want all children who endure the emotional and mental suffering sexual abuse causes to be praised as heroes right up there with Holocaust survivors and Vietnam Vets.

For adults who suffered child sexual abuse and who now display dysfunctional behaviors to be recognized as victims of sick adults and be respected for the strength and courage it takes to face and heal the pain caused by them."

One survivor/artist stated, "When I had an image of the project, I had a transformation wash over the whole of me. A shame left that I had never been able to get rid of. I felt empowered. The change has been permanent."

The art work and poetry presented in the "Reaching Out" Monument Project are the badge of courage gained from surmounting great adversity.


This is not MY Shame.


I grew up in a POW camp.


Shameful Swastika; Skeleton key you used to imprison me
You said you were "protecting" me
Highway you left me standing and crying on..
You laughed when you returned and said you were just "joking"
I didn't ask for this – I was just a child
I didn't even know what the words "shame" or "abuse" meant
These words weren't in my vocabulary until I was
a quarter of a century old
Mine is a second-hand shame that was handed to me
A hand-me-down that felt like a perfect fit
I breathed it in..choking on seeped into my soul
Shame plays games in my head – trapping me
Trappedinmyroomforonenight + Trappedinterroronahighway = trappedinmyheadforyears. Hypervigilant, watched, watching…
Can you hear the screaming silence coming from
Second generation German-Canadians? Who speaks for us?
For my brother whose soul was slowly smothered for 31 years?
Who knows about the impact of growing up with a raging,
anti-semitic parent who was a POW during WWII?
Who knows of being raised by the generation that
lived the war, fought the war, filled, fled?
Who is conducting studies on the effects of second-hand cults?
What tests determine the aftermath of Nazi Germany
on its children?
I grew up in a POW Camp
I have known the brainwashing and numbing techniques of cults
My home was a minefield
My parents acting out the only drama they knew – annihilation
Shattered Swastika, Sliced Key
This is not MY shame. I HAND IT BACK.

Angela Palmer

"Follow Site Web Ring"

You may not see
the scar but its there.






God bless all those
that survived.
Love, RJ






For Chrys and Melanie:
Hope the rest of your
life is filled with joy -
you deserve it!





They are only children.
Love them all!






Stop it now.
Protect our Children.






Do your best.






Don't let the anger
and mistake pass on!!!
Care for them,
don't abuse them!
Make a new generation.






The place inside me
shines and remains
untouched . I own my
body and it remains
pure as my spirit.






It took 40 years
of fear
before I was set free.






Darkness was mine...
Now it's my tome to...









Never give up on your
rights to be trusted
with love and 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






I was abused!
The cycle stopped
with me!
Listen to the children.
Believe the children.
Help the children.


Voices of Youth




Stop child abuse.
It's not your fault.






Stop the cycle,
break the silence.
Embrace the child
within -
She did what was
necessary to survive.

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*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2004)

Your Donations are Needed
to Bring the Child Abuse Monument Home from the Foundry

* Donations *
* Story of the Monument/Phases of the Project * Phase 1: Design * Phase II: Create * Phase III: Implement * Phase IV:Positioning *
* Monument Overview * Monument Project Organization * Project Story - Flash Movie *
* A Healing Monument * Monument as Social Action * A Gift for Allies in Healing *
* Artistic Director: Michael C. Irving, Ph.D. * Assisting Sculptors * Studio Visits *
* Monument Conception/Creation * Monument Sculpting * Casting the Bronze *
* Quilt Square Workshop Participants *
Heroes of the Monument * Facing Challenges * Monument Lessons * Monument Stories
* Self Care Activities for Survivors * Well Being * Creating Coping Lists * Meditation Gallery *
* Information on Child Abuse
* Types of Abuse * Impacts of Abuse * Responses to Abuse *
* Resource Links on Child Abuse *
* Survivor Monument Poetry and Quilt Square Books *
* Awareness Campaign * Research Forum * Cambridge Tour * DAS School *
Contribute a HandPrint Message for Placement Inside the Child Abuse Monument *
* Sponsorship as Healing * Sponsors * Local Sponsors * Sponsorship Opportunities *
* Unveiling *

*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)