Book Review: “Dance Of The Lights” by Stephen Geez. @StephenGeez

Meet author Stephen Geez

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Stephen Geez earned his undergrad and grad degrees at the University of Michigan. A composer, TV producer, publisher, graphic artist, and writer, he focuses now on novels, essay collections, short fiction, authors’ how-to under the GeezWriter brand, and scripts. Founding member of the publisher Fresh Ink Group, he works with a wide variety of authors to produce their best possible work. Watch for his essays, stories, books, and blog posts at www.StephenGeez.com Find him and his author friends at www.FreshInkGroup.com. Send him a note from his member page or the Contact Form.

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BOOK REVIEW DANCE OF THE LIGHTS BY STEPHEN GEEZ.

Stephen Geez Dance of the lights cover

BLURB

Frank relishes fast success and early retirement, but struggling to preserve his life’s work thrusts him into a desperate battle to protect the people he cares about most.

Beverly seeks a new beginning in Tarpon Springs—until those she trusts steal control of her destiny, forcing a fight for her very survival.

All twelve-year-old Kevin wants is attention from the only man he respects, yet murder and the wrenching indifference of a callous legal system toward one vulnerable child proves even friendship might never be enough.

Riven by tragedy, consumed by grief, all three must confront the wondrous possibility that our indelible bonds may somehow transcend even death, that a cherished soul truly can find the way back.

Only together might this improbable family dare embrace their own brand of unexpected love, that infinite potential to achieve more than any one person can alone. Through it all, they are teased by the mystery of those dancing lights, a million pinpoints in every imaginable color swirling to form brilliant images of extraordinary lives.

 

MY REVIEW 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 An unforgettable reading experience.

We all reach a place in our timeline of life when we call into question everything we hold to be truths. I have recently found myself in that space and place in my own life. Reading this book therefore was both an unnerving and emotional journey to take.

Author Stephen Geez doesn’t invite you softly into the raw emotion that colors this his first book. I found myself catapulted and thrown headlong by the wonderful lyricism of his writing.

The characters became the people I’ve known throughout my own life, the broken and tarnished loved ones, those left spiritually bereft by the harsh hand of fate. I could see them clearly, I could hear their voices, such is the power of the gut level empathy that shines through in this book.

I felt bereft when I’d finished reading “Dance Of The Lights.” Much as I feel when a dearly loved friend leaves me to head on home.  I took pleasure in the knowledge that I can now read this whenever that need to reconnect arises again. Powerful does not even begin to cover what this book holds between it covers. My thanks to this author for sharing his talent.

 

Celebrating the newly edited edition of “Empty Chairs: (Standing Tall & Fighting Back Book 1) #Memoir On sale now at $0.99.

The following trailer and the contents of my memoir are very confronting. Because they absolutely must be. Child abuse will never cease if we continue to turn away, seeing nothing … doing nothing.

HERE IS THE TRAILER Created by my dear friend Sessha Batto.

PREVIEW EMPTY CHAIRS BELOW.

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My BLOG

Two weeks ago I was taken to hospital. One week ago I was asked a question I should have been prepared for, but wasn’t. “Do you want to be resuscitated, Suzanne?”

It would appear that I’m not six-foot-tall and bullet-proof after all! I’m not looking for answers my friends, not here. What I am doing is sharing with you what my world looks like at the moment, in the hope that by writing it down I can gain more insight and clarity into something I have steadfastly avoided thinking about for most of my crazy chaotic life. I’m not throwing a pity-party here. I’ll indulge myself with the poor-poor-pitiful-me stuff when I lay in the dark and try vainly to sleep.

I have always bounced back. Something in me refuses to stay down for the count. I have never allowed myself to think differently. That changed nine days ago.

For the last six weeks my already poor health has taken a nose dive. Up until six weeks ago I could still manage to walk unassisted from my bedroom at the front of our cottage to the bathroom at the rear.

To venture outside has required a wheelchair for over three-years now, I had adjusted my mental attitude to that fact. Hell, I hated the loss of my independence, I fought against it … hard, but I had to accept that the wheelchair was now an integral part of my life. Like everything else in my crazy life to date my sense of humor rescued me from the depth of the depression that I was sinking into. My daughter and I managed to find ways to still get out and I was able to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine with my darling daughter steering from behind and my small grandson perched precariously on my lap, not to forget the picnic basket we always took with us.

I became hell on wheels, at least in my own fertile imagination.

The onset of winter is never a good time with my advanced C.O.P.D always wavering in the face of the cold. The winter here in our new location has been very severe, we Sydney dwellers are accustomed to the mildest of winters with minus degree temperatures unheard of.

The day I was admitted to hospital just over two-weeks ago it was -7 degrees Celsius, that’s around 19 degrees Fahrenheit. I had been struggling to breathe for over two weeks beforehand, needing to use the nebulizer far more than I should have. Until finally the worry on my daughter’s dear face registered with my stubborn refusal to accept the inevitable, and I asked her to call the Paramedics.

Long story short … Double pneumonia, which had sent my insulin dependent diabetes out of control. My health issues are many and complex, and four of them are individually life-threatening. I know that.  I have known that for a very long time, but as long as no doctor sat me down and had ‘the’ talk with me I was able to convince myself and everyone else that Soooz would always bounce back. I always laughed it off. I can’t do that now.  Nine days ago my doctor came into my room, I had been moved from ICU to a private room  because my coughing was keeping the others in a shared room from resting.

He closed the door behind him and pulled a chair over to my bedside.

He looked weary and dispirited, and little wonder, he’d been on duty for seven-very-long days. I’d seen him early every morning when he’d done his rounds, all throughout the long days and late every night as he’d pop his head in and take a look at my chart before heading home to what would have only been very little sleep.

I did my usual, “So … what’s up, Doc?” I smiled at him. He gave me a tired grin.

“Suzanne, there is never an easy way to approach what I need to talk to you about.”

I looked at his face again and saw the sadness there. “Well, Doc, straight talking always works best for me. So okay, go ahead.”

“I need to talk to you about your wishes regarding resuscitation in the event that you go into arrest.” And there it was. There was no punch line.

I felt like I’d been kicked in the guts by a mule.

I struggled to stay in the moment, and not shut out his words because they were words I didn’t want to ever be asked.

“How close did we come?” I heard a voice ask, surprised that my vocal chords were working at all.

“I won’t lie to you. It was damned close, my dear. You need more information which I’ll have the chronic care team go over with you when you go home. I’ll arrange for them to come and do a home visit. Your daughter is your carer, yes?”

“Yes, yes she is. Are we talking full life-support here?”

“Full life support would be necessary, Suzanne. With all the possible problems associated with its implementation. We can go over the ramifications with you to help you make an informed decision. I’m so sorry, Suzanne. This is never a conversation that any doctor wants to have with his patient. I’ll answer any questions for you that I reasonably can, but keep in mind every situation presents us with a unique set of circumstances.”

I think that’s what he said.

My mind was already searching for ways to make all this go away.

It didn’t succeed.

He came across to the bed and squeezed my shoulder. “We’ll talk when you are ready to. You are still a long way from well, but certainly in better condition than when they brought you in. I’m ordering something to help you sleep. We’ll leave the oxygen on tonight.”

“I need to wean off it. I don’t want it at home. I’d rely on it too heavily.”

“Let’s discuss that further tomorrow, shall we? For now I think it best to keep the oxygen levels at an acceptable level to allow you to sleep. It is far better to make decisions when you are well rested, my dear.”

He stood at the door for a moment, then without saying anything more he nodded slowly and left the room.

I couldn’t think. Or more accurately I refused to think. I needed more information. The one thing that did keep pummeling at my head was the knowledge that IF I chose to be resuscitated  and placed on life-support, it would then fall on my child to make the decision to turn off the machines if and when the doctors advised her to do so.

How in the name of all I hold dearest could I ever place her in that position? I know my girl, it would be something she’d never fully recover from.

I’ve had close friends with family members on life support, I’ve been with them on two occasions when they were called upon to make the decision to switch off the life-support keeping their loved ones alive.

I’ve seen the devastation of the guilt that overwhelmed them, and then held them tightly as they also expressed their relief that their loved one would suffer no more.

I didn’t sleep in spite of the medication, I lay there in the dark listening to the hiss of the oxygen as it helped me to breathe.

I had so many questions, and needed answers to them before I could even begin to contemplate discussing this with my daughter.

Two days later my doctor came by with a colleague and I asked if I could return home. He agreed, but hastened to tell me that the chronic-care-team would visit me at home to discuss my home care needs and answer any questions I needed to ask. All the follow up appointments were made; he shook my hand, wished me well, and I came home.

It’s been nine-days now. I made one attempt to discuss the current situation with my daughter and she responded as I knew she would. “You will absolutely be resuscitated, Momma Bear!” She then teared up and needed to leave the room.

I discussed it with her again, and she understands that this must be my decision. I understand that this must be my decision, and it will be made armed with the best information I have.

Today is Wednesday August 9th 2017. The Chronic-care-team will be here in an hour. My daughter will sit in until I ask the questions about life-support. I’ve asked her to leave the room then, and I will give her the Reader’s Digest version after the team have left.

They have been and gone and it was a productive hour of discussion. Home help is being offered to my daughter for a period of six-weeks. At the end of that time I should hopefully have improved sufficiently not to require her to be on constant alert all the time. She is a single mom raising a five-year-old boy, I’m so grateful that she will have help for a while.

The team were lovely dedicated folks, and I have an enormous amount of paperwork to read through before I can make the final call on the decision to either allow resuscitation and life-support … or decline it.

My child, will I think, rest a little easier tonight. She deserves to.

The road ahead is not going to be easy, I know that. I’m already leaning toward the do NOT resuscitate option, but I’ll make that call after I’ve become as well informed as I can be.

What I do know with absolute certainty is that if pure cussed pigheadedness has anything to do with me getting back on my feet, then I’ll do it. Spring is fast approaching, and then our glorious summer … the warmer weather will grant me hours sitting outside in the sunshine. I look forward to that.

One thing my daughter and I have discussed and agreed upon is what I’ll finally have on my gravestone. It’s not original but I know that it will make her smile each time she sees it. I want her to smile.

And what have I decided upon? Simply this … “She’s not going to take this lying down.”

I’ll give this my best shot, my friends. I have too much remaining that I have yet to achieve. Wish me luck and thank you so much for caring enough to stop by.

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Being held hostage by your memory. #Flashbacks.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Being held hostage by your memories. #Flashbacks.

Definition of Hostage

If you say you are hostage to something, you mean that your freedom to take action is restricted by things that you cannot control. Such is the force of PTSD.

Memories are something unique to each and every one of us. They are perhaps the only thing apart from our DNA that truly sets us apart from any other of our species.

They can be triggered by the sweet joyous sound of a baby’s laughter, the scent of a freshly baked cake, or a scene from a movie that we watch over-and-over again. All our senses take part in the remembering process.

The lingering refrain of church bells on Sunday morning and the butterfly touch of a spring breeze on our faces may all take us to places we once inhabited in real time.

But not all of our memory is sweet.

The darker times of loss, the time a love ended, the tragedy  that life hands out … but never in equal measure, all those times remain there in that memory and at our weakest moments they will surface, to test our strength, or to force us to become aware, finally, that we are  no longer in that place of weakness.

Our memories hand us our self-knowledge, and at times, those memories are the very things by which we judge our own self-worth.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has as a bi-product its own unique way of enabling our darkest memory to surface. These are the FLASHBACKS  … I have experienced many. I will share with you one that it still shakes me to recall, in the hope that in some small way I can help shine a light into the darkest of places.

When it came, there was only a fleeting moment of recognition before I catapulted straight back to hell.

It was a crisp August morning, mid-winter here in Australia. I was beyond excited, anxious and happy that morning. I wore a new business suit, my hair was freshly cut and styled and I was ready to attend my second interview, at a firm of Merchant Bankers that were well known and respected, located in the Sydney CBD. I really wanted that job. Hell, I really needed that job. Blowing the funds on the new clothes and hairstyle was done in the belief that I had what it took to nail this position. I had worked in the field for a good many years and my reputation was solid. They had now compiled a short list of five possible candidates, including myself. I liked those odds.

I arrived at the tower of power that rose high above our beautiful harbor, and joined the throng of workers lined up for the elevators.

I have always hated elevators, but twenty-two floors up was my appointment location, and my lungs already knew that stairs weren’t an option.

My life long claustrophobia clung hand in hand to my inability to stand at the front of the elevator … my unease at having people behind me unseen won the argument. I entered the elevator and went to the middle against the back wall … my ass was covered. I smiled, remembering my dear Jamie’s favorite expression, “Always cover your ass, Sass!”  The other occupants soon created a wall in front of me, which I escaped by keeping my eyes closed and only briefly glancing up as the lift stopped and disgorged people on each floor.

I believe I had a handle on the claustrophobia, and just breathed deeply.

We stopped again, someone else entered. I watched an older woman, well attired, and confident looking stand just in front of me. She loosened her colored scarf and her perfume was captured and sent in my direction by the movement.

I inhaled that scent. My guts clenched so tight I could scarcely breathe. The nausea was my second warning sign that something was wrong. I took a deep breath to quell the wave of it as it rocked me. That is when it truly began. That smell … the woman who gave birth to me always wore that perfume. I was shaking and attempting not to throw up; I couldn’t move my limbs, for they were weighed down by the concrete of fear.

The fight or flight reflex kicked in and I lunged forward and hit the next floor button. Those brief moments seemed endless, and I had wet myself as I had as a small child when that scent of her would linger long after a beating. That odor had me back in a hell I had long run from. A hell that held me hostage with the memories that even the smell of a perfume could bring back into being.

I was that broken child again, kneeling on the floor and then placing my mouth at the light coming from underneath the locked door in the darkened room. The forty-year-old woman that I now was simply ceased to exist. I was four-years-old again. My back so sticky with crusted blood that the singlet I had been wearing for days stuck fast to the surface. I could feel my control slipping away and could find no logical thought that would both stop it and me from spiraling deeper into that remembered nightmare of pain and darkness.

The lift door finally opened and I half fell out in my haste. I don’t know what floor I landed on, my only coherent thought was escape. I needed a bathroom but couldn’t open my mouth to ask for directions. I headed to a corridor that I hoped would contain public washrooms. I threw up all over the plush-pile carpet in the corridor, and all over myself, not knowing or caring if anyone bore witness to my humiliation.

I found a washroom and locked myself into a stall. I sat down on the closed lid of the toilet and searched for the ability to breathe. I sat with my head down and focused on the tiled pattern on the floor until I could at last see it clearly, that gave me a route back to the immediacy of the moment, the now time, the real time where she had no power over my life … except in my memories. I had no idea how much time had passed. It had for me, seemed like a lifetime. I didn’t think to check my watch. Such is the nature of Flashbacks.

I cleaned myself as best I could, using paper towel and soapy water. I had nobody I could call to come and pick me up from the city. At that time in my life, I was living alone. I inspected myself, grabbing reassurance from the adult face reflected in the mirror, surprised to discover not the child I’d once been, but my grown self. I looked at my reflection for a long time …  until I had gathered as much of me together as I could hope for just then. I lightly sprayed on my own signature perfume, in the hope of hiding the stench of my clothing and my fear from the Taxi driver on the twenty-minutes it would take to him to drive me back home to safe haven.  I tipped him well.

I recall unlocking the door and resetting the alarm system before sliding down and sitting with my back firmly in place against that door. Nothing and no one could come near me … for now.

I showered, dressed, and then rang the folks that had expected to interview me. I apologized of course. I’d simply told them that I had taken suddenly ill. They thanked me, but they didn’t suggest a reschedule. I was distantly grateful for that, for I knew with absolute certainty that I would never take the risk that that woman could possibly share any space whatsoever in my life. I rated the chance of her working there far too high.

It took me a couple of days to regroup. I thought about and then tried not to think about what had happened. I knew I didn’t want to take the option of isolating myself … not again.

The temptation to reach out for alcohol to numb me against everything was resisted, this time. Being under the influence of the large amounts of alcohol I knew I could consume would make me a loaded weapon placed in the hands of a terrified four-year-old child.

I didn’t sleep fearing the nightmares that experience had told me lay waiting. I needed to cry it out, but I could not.

Finally, after almost three days of constant vigilance, exhaustion claimed me, and I slept. I awoke on the morning of the fourth day and knew that, I had,at least for now, regained control.

I refocused my attention on finding a job.

And life went on.

For those who suffer from P.T.S.D, and for those loving, caring folks that have someone in their lives that are trying to deal with the challenging packages P.T.S.D hands out, please know this … there are people out there in the now of your world that can help you. They will help you go to battle … and they will cheer you on as you win.

Reach out. There will be many loving hands ready to take yours.

I have listed below sites that are available world-wide, it is by no means a complete list, but if anyone reading this needs to learn more, these sites will point you in the right direction.

Depression Alliance U.K

ABeyond Blue Australia. Information and help

Anxiety and Depression Assistance America

Police Post Trauma Support Group | PPTSG | Post Traumatic Stress

Help line. 0432 569 589. 7am – 10am. The PPTSG is a not-for-profit organisation, … Its aim is to provide support to those who are suffering from PTSD, anxiety, … officers, and emergency workers, PPTSG provides a family and spouse support function. … He has been through the system & suffers ongoing medical problems of …
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause fear, anxiety and trauma memories that persist for a long time and affect a person’s ability to function.
Blue Knot Helpline (formerly ASCA Professional Support Line) provides help, … The MindSpot Clinic does not provide an emergency or instant response service. … health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, …
Posttraumatic stress disorder (sometimes called PTSD) is a form of anxiety … Ask your doctor about any concerns you have, or contact the SANE Helpline on …
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) can cause fear, anxiety and trauma … information, online programs, helplines and news on mindhealthconnect. … PTSD is a treatable anxiety disorder affecting around one million Australians each year. …. (000) for an ambulance or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Trusted information about complex PTSD, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis and … If someone has attempted, or is in immediate risk of attempting to harm … Complex posttraumatic stress disorder describes the long-term effects of …. Helpline 1800 18 7263 Home Mental Health & Illness :: Facts & Guides Get Help …

Find help for the effects of trauma – Phoenix Australia

phoenixaustralia.org/recovery/find-help/
This page lists Australian helplines and websites. For urgent support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential 24/7 counselling and …. PTSD and trauma.
People with posttraumatic stress disorder often experience feelings of panic or extreme fear, which may resemble what was felt during the traumatic event.
  1. Confidential online assessment. Free to Australian adults.
    Dedicated IT Team · Free & Effective Service
    Steps: Learn, Get Assessed, Treatment…

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | Mind, the mental health charity …

Explains what posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD are, and provides information on how you can access treatment and support. Includes …

It is normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but … The Combat Stress 24-Hour Helpline 0800 138 1619 is for the military … trauma in military and emergency service personnel and also complex PTSD and … Rivers offers treatment for the whole range of post traumatic disorders with the 

 

 

 

 

Book REVIEW Video “Empty Chairs” by Suzanne Burke writing as Stacey Danson. Reviewed by Gwen Plano. #RRBC

How marvelous it is to have my book reviewed in this way. I am so honored to have  Gwen Plano feel strongly about my work. Please, pop over to the YouTube site and leave a comment on her video.

Thank you for dropping by.

 

 

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“It’s never a good idea to Piss this woman off.” Online bullying in its most damaging disguise.

Do NOT piss me off!

Anyone reading this who is even vaguely familiar with me, with my writing, and my particular way of dealing with the world will not be too surprised by this post.

For those of you that are perhaps clicking onto this with no knowledge beforehand of who the hell I am, or what hell I came from, please be advised … I have no hesitation in being vocal and passionate about something I believe in.

I am angry … extremely angry in fact. This is not going to be one of my light, bright, happy posts.

So … Why am I pissed off?

A few years back I wrote some non-fiction books. In doing so, and, because of the subject matter (Child abuse) I accepted the fact that there would be folks out there that would be (Sadly) sexually excited by the content. I accepted that, I knew the subject matter alone would attract some extremely sick predators.

I dealt with that fact, because I hoped that my books may help someone, somewhere seek help. I figured that if I could reach people, and perhaps help them recognize the signs of child abuse coming from all around them, then, maybe, just maybe one child somewhere may not need to go through the agony.

I know first hand that this can be a very sick world. I know that only too well. Over the few years since my work was published, I have received numerous emails from people of all ages and genders asking for my help and or advice.

I do not offer them a cure. There is no cure. Humankind has it’s share of inhuman acts.

But this world is turning and beginning to learn and because of that there are now an ever increasing number of places they can contact, places where they can seek assistance, advice and hopefully protection. This is what I do. I put them in touch with these professionals, these people are far better equipped than I will ever be to help them.

I have, never, ever, refused to open an email when the subject line asks me for help on this topic. I have not changed my email address for that very reason. I can’t punish folks that have already been punished enough by life to do that.

I have also received many emails from sick fucks that make me ill with the content of their “Please help me” requests.

As I said, I accepted that this would occur. I also knew that human nature being what it is, they would have been overjoyed had I responded with the anger they expected. So … I refused to respond. Period. I took it on the chin as part and parcel of the world we live in.

Enough Already! I have decided to respond after all. Years of these have taken their toll. I can’t remain passive on this, it’s too fucking important!  NOTE that I’m not telling you the titles of the books in question, nor the name I used to write them. I am NOT seeking promotion. This is NOT a please buy my work post.

What I AM seeking is for folks to recognize that these sick and perverted emails are yet another form of On-line Bullying. It has to stop. I will not Name and Shame them, for that is the very publicity they want. That recognition is what they crave, what they seek. That is what they MUST NOT achieve.

SO, I’m giving these sick fucks a free word of advice. IF you send me an email that is cruel and offensive in the extreme: If you disguise it under the cloak of being an abused person needing help, I WILL retaliate. You are NOT dealing with a helpless child here. I will never be forced into the position of feeling that helpless ever again.

I WILL retaliate by reporting you to the police and/or any other Agency that deals with these matters.

I don’t care what part of the world you live in. I don’t care what name you use. I don’t care if you feel safe and sheltered by a proxy server. I may not have the capacity to track you down on my own …. BUT the authorities have their own ways and means. And I will give those authorities everything I have that may assist them. I’ll no longer delete the posts.

I will and must continue answering the genuine posts that come in. My email will NOT change.

I usually have a sense of humor about life in general. It has been my one great solace and a frequent source of escape.

This TOPIC does not make me smile. I have no sense of humor whatsoever where abuse, in any of its guises is concerned.

Pissing me off is NOT a smart move.

End of rant.

I have included a long list of Agencies where folks (Genuine people) may get the help they need. I have included The United States, The United Kingdom and Australia.

AUSTRALIA:

The following list provides the contact telephone numbers for each State and Territory to report incidences of child abuse:

  • Australian Capital Territory – 24 hours: 1300 556 729
  • New South Wales – 24 hours: 132 111
  • Northern Territory – Business hours: (08) 8922 7111. After hours: 1800 700 250
  • Queensland – Business hours: (07) 3224 8045. After hours: (07) 3235 9999
  • South Australia – 24 hours: 131 611
  • Tasmania – 24 hours: 1300 737 639
  • Victoria – 24 hours: 131 278
  • Western Australia – Business hours: (08) 9222 2555. After hours: (08) 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Boystown National Hotline

Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home
Boystown, NE 68010
800/448-3000

The Boys Town National Hotline is the only hotline that children and parents can call with any problem at any time: Spanish-speaking counselors available; translation services for 100+ languages; TTY line available for the hearing-impaired at 1-800-448-1833; Counselors can help find services and agencies in the callers’ local community.

Childhelp USA, National Child Abuse Hotline

P.O. Box 630
Hollywood, CA 90028
800/422-4453 or 213/465-4014

Childhelp USA provides a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week national crisis hotline on child abuse and neglect. Childhelp USA is dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children. It does this by focusing its efforts and resources upon treatment, prevention, and research.

Children’s Rights of America

8735 Dunwoody Place, Suite 6
Atlanta, GA 30350
770-442-7865

Children’s Rights of America is a child advocacy and youth services organization that is a resource for rescuing a missing/abused child, desperately in trouble, from an impossible situation when all other avenues have failed.

Covenant House Nineline

346 W. 17th Street
New York, NY 10011-5002
800/999-9999

Covenant House is the largest privately-funded childcare agency in the United States providing shelter and service to homeless and runaway youth. In addition to food, shelter, clothing and crisis care, Covenant House provides a variety of services to homeless youth including health care, education, vocational preparation, drug abuse treatment and prevention programs, legal services, recreation, mother/child programs, transitional living programs, street outreach and aftercare.

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)

1757 Park Road, NW
Washington, DC 20010
202/232-6682
nova@digex.net

The National Organization for Victim Assistance is a private non-profit organization of victim and witness assistance programs and practitioners, criminal justice agencies and professionals, mental health professionals, researchers, former victims and survivors, and others committed to the recognition and implementation of victim rights and services.

Parents Anonymous

675 W. Foothill Boulevard, Suite 220
Claremont, CA 91711
909/621-6184
parentsanonymous-nat@earthlink.net

Parents Anonymous is a nonprofit organization which remains dedicated to strengthening families with innovative strategies that promote mutual support and parent leadership.

Education/Prevention

American Humane Association

Children’s Division
63 Inverness Drive, E
Englewood, CO 80112
800/227-4645 or 303/792-9900
children@amerhumane.org

The mission of the American Humane Association, as a network of individuals and organizations, is to prevent cruelty, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and animals and to assure that their interests and well-being are fully, effectively, and humanely guaranteed by an aware and caring society.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

U.S. Children’s Bureau
1250 Maryland Avenue SW, Eighth Floor
Washington DC 20024
703/385-7565
800/394-3366 (toll free)
info@childwelfare.gov

Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, this service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

2102 Wilson Blvd., Suite 550
Arlington, VA 22201
800/843-5678 or 703/235-3900
ncmec@cis.compuserv.com

NCMEC is a nonprofit organization and is the nation’s resource center for child protection.

National Children’s Advocacy Center

200 Westside Square, Suite 700
Huntsville, AL 35801
205/534-6868

The National Children’s Advocacy Center provides training and technical assistance to professionals working with victims of child sexual abuse as well as their families.

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information

P.O. Box 1182
Washington, DC 20013-1182
800/394-3366 or 703/385-7565
Contact: Information Specialist
nccanch@calib.com

The Clearinghouse is a national resource for professionals seeking information on the prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect and related child welfare issues.

National Committee for the Rights of the Child (NCRC)

125 Cathedral Street, First Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401
410/268-1544

The National Committee for the Rights of the Child was established to be a well coordinated coalition of organizations, individuals, businesses, and corporations whose goal is to improve the quality of life and development of children in America. NCRC gives primary emphasis to advancing respect and support for children’s rights through education, information, monitoring, and advocacy projects.

National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (NCPCA)

332 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60604
312/663-3520
ncpca@childabuse.org

NCPCA is a national, nonprofit, volunteer-based organization whose primary goal is to prevent child abuse. NCPCA is represented in all 50 states through a network of chapters.

National Education Association (NEA)

Professional Library
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202/833-4000

The National Education Association is nearly 2.5 million men and women working, in schools and colleges across the United States, to help all students achieve.

National Resource Center for Child Maltreatment

1349 W. Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30309
404/881-0707
nrccmcwi@aol.com

The National Resource Center for Child Maltreatment provides training, technical assistance, consultation, and information in response to identified needs which relate to the prevention, identification, intervention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Legal Advice

For legal help, first contact your local lawyer referral services through your chapter of the American Bar Association. In addition, the following organizations may be able to put you in touch with legal assistance or advice.

American Bar Association (ABA), Center on Children and the Law

1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202/662-1720
ctrchildlaw@attmail.com

The ABA Center on Children and the Law is a full-service technical assistance, training, and research program addressing a broad spectrum of law and court-related topics affecting children. These include child abuse and neglect, adoption, adolescent health, foster and kinship care, custody and support, guardianship, missing and exploited children, and children’s exposure to domestic violence.

National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse

American Prosecutors Research Institute
99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
703/739-0312

National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse is a program of the American Prosecutors Research Institute aimed at responding to an increasing volume of reported child abuse. The National Center serves as a central resource for training, expert legal assistance, court reform and state-of-the-art information on criminal child abuse investigations and prosecutions.

NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund

99 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
212/925-6635
Contact: Intake Department

NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund continues to be at the center of every major social and economic justice concern on the women’s rights agenda, defining the issues and bringing them to public attention. NOW Legal Defense pursues equality for women and girls in the workplace, the schools, the family and the courts, through litigation, education, and public information programs.

Domestic Violence

Family Violence Prevention Fund

383 Rhode Island Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94103-5133
415/252-8900
fund@igc.apc.org

The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end domestic violence and help women and children whose lives are devastated by abuse, because every person has the right to live in a home free of violence.

National Resource Center for Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
P.O. Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507
800/527-3223

The Council’s increased awareness and sensitivity to children’s issues and provide meaningful assistance to judges, court administrators and related professionals in whose care the concerns of children and their families have been entrusted.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

American Council for Drug Education

164 W. 74th Street
New York, NY 10023
800/488-DRUG or 212/595-5810 ext. 7860

The American Council for Drug Education is a substance abuse prevention and education agency that develops programs and materials based on the most current scientific research on drug use and its impact on society.

National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

P.O. Box 2345
Rockville, MD 20847-2345
800/729-6686
ncadi@health.org

The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) is the information service of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. NCADI is the world’s largest resource for current information and materials concerning substance abuse.

National Parents Resource Institute on Drug Education (PRIDE)

3610 Decab Technology Pkwy., Suite 105
Atlanta, GA 30340
404/577-4500

PRIDE is the largest and oldest organization in the nation devoted to drug- and violence-free youth. With programs devoted to reach parents and youth at home, school and work, PRIDE has made significant contribution in communities across America and around the world.

Volunteer Opportunities

National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association

100 W. Harrison, Suite 500
North Tower
Seattle, WA 98199
800/628-3233 or 206/328-8588
staff@nationalcasa.org

Volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are everyday people who are appointed by judges to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.

THE UNITED KINGDOM

If you think a child is in immediate danger

Don’t delay – call the police on 999,
or call us on 0808 800 5000, straight away.

Email us at help@nspcc.org.uk

“Glimpses Across The Barricades” #Poetry in progress. ‘In Dreams of A Perfect World’ by Suzanne Burke.

Welcome to ‘Glimpses Across the Barricades’ This poem was included in the epilogue of my book “Faint Echoes of Laughter”.

In A  Perfect World

by

Suzanne Burke

 

Dreams of aperfect world image

As I lay snugly warm and safe
Within my families womb
My heart begins a slow sad ache
For another child will cry tonight
Another child will die tonight
What was once their home
will become their tomb

Anger tears me as I read
The desperate plead of a child in need
How can we continue to ignore
The deafening cries from every land?
Can the balance be restored or
Are we so desensitized to pain
That we can’t give
Without thought of gain

If I had but one wish to make
Then that wish would surely be
That when my own sweet child has grown,
and if fate so decrees

I’ll hold her own children on my knee
And when I lay them in their beds
No sad thoughts will fill their heads

For our world will have become a place
Where all its children have their space
Where no ugly thoughts will touch their minds
When faith is restored in humankind

No sweet child will need to cry
No hungry child will need to die

We have that power in our hands
To make these changes throughout all lands
If we can but clearly see
That our world is not
What it needs to be

Once the changes have been made
Each child may sleep with sweet child dreams

Each child will wake to see the dawn
Each child will be thankful
they were born.

In my dreams of a perfect world.

 

 

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