Commentary
Volume 1 Issue 1 - 2015
Listen to the Cry of the Child
Barbara Hansen*
Member of RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network) Speakers Bureau, University of Massachusetts, USA
*Corresponding Author: Barbara Hansen, University of Massachusetts, 39 Janock Road.
Received: December 16, 2014; Published: January 12, 2015
Citation: Barbara Hansen. “Listen to the Cry of the Child”. EC Addiction 1.1 (2015): 1-5.
Abstract
Barbara Joy Hansen has broken the silence of shame as an Expert and Prevention Advocate having experienced childhood incest and preteen clergy sexual abuse. As a survivor and because of soul healing, she has deep empathy for both victims and sex offenders inside and outside prison walls. Sexual assault is a personal and destructive crime. Its effects can be severe psychological, emotional, mental and/or physical [1]. Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Trauma often become enablers because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Barbara Joy Hansen’s personal, vulnerable journey resulted in poor choices she made but helped her understand the “why’s” of her experiences including questioning the very core of her existence with her codependency addiction involving a male heroin addict prostitute she met in prison. This insane behavior sets us up for shame and we become much destroyed human beings who have no idea who we are and it sets the stage of a play that we do not want to be acting in. Barbara has moved from Victim asking, “How Do I See Myself?” Attached IVAT poster to Survivor and Healer after being victimized for years by a grandfather who sexually assaulted her as a child [2]. She found out from her cousins that her uncle had violated them as well. After her grandfather died, the memory surfaced that she had been sexually assaulted by a twenty seven year old youth pastor for two years as a preteen at a Bible camp [3]. The illustrations on the cover of her book, Listen to the Cry of the Child shows a clay flower pot that’s been broken and buried along with a rag doll, toy airplane, child’s book and baby carriage thrown out. These are the things from our childhood memories that have been tossed in that garbage heap but eventually the pot, like our life must be unearthed in order to put together again and become whole. There was a seed inside the pot that grew out of death into life becoming a beautiful flower that is blossoming and blooming as Barbara realized that out of her many losses perhaps there was a God-given purpose for her life! When her mother, a pastor’s wife was eighty three years old, Barbara finally got the courage to tell her the secrets that had nearly destroyed her soul. Learning that her mom was also a victim of incest by her dad as a child, but because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she was unable to protect her daughter and Barbara was unable to tell her mother for nearly forty years.
Keywords: Sexual Assault; Shame; Silence; P.T.S.D; Survivor; Hope; Healing; Support
Introduction
Award Winning Published Author [4] with Bookmaster’s Inc. [5] and Speaker, Barbara Joy Hansen knows violence too well. After coming out of darkness from devastating losses of childhood incest, preteen crime, pornography and infidelity in her marriage leading to infertility, post partum depression and adoption as well as her husband’s father’s suicide, she has turned her brokenness into triumph bringing beauty out of ashes. In a fractured marriage for years, she tried to rescue a male heroin addict sexual abuse survivor she wrote to in prison, bringing him into her home from crack houses but she realized she couldn’t help anyone until she rescued herself.
Intervention
Healing Damaged Emotions by David Seamands, Healing of Memories by David Seamands, The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dan B. Allender, Learning to Trust Again: A Young Woman’s Journey of Healing from Sexual Abuse by Christina Sands, Mind of an Addict by Irving “R.J.” Mace, Bold Love by Dr. Dan B. Allender [6] and Dr. Tremper Longman III, An Affair of the Mind by Laurie Hall [7]. The Prodigal Spouse: How to Survive Infidelity by Dr. Les Carter, Sexual Idolatry by Steve Gallager, Released from Shame: Moving Beyond the Pain of the Past by Sandra Wilson, It Should Never Happen Here: A Guide for Minimizing the Risk of Child Abuse by Ernest Zarra, A Safe Place: Beyond Sexual Abuse by Jan Morrison, Beyond the Darkness [8] by Cynthia A. Kubetin [9] and James D. Mallory, Jr., M.D., New International Version Recovery Devotional Bible[10], Alcoholics Anonymous and The Twelve Steps of Recovery. Other books that helped bring soul healing to the author are Shelter From the Storm: Hope for Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Cynthia Kubetin and James Mallory, M.D. [11], The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allender [12] and A Companion Workbook by Dr. Dan B. Allender [13], After the Affair by Janis Abrahms Spring PH.D. [14] and Shame Off You by Alan D. Wright [15].
In 1999, after facing and confronting the elderly clergy for sexually assaulted her and searching for several years without success to find healing from sexual assault and domestic violence Barbara began her own support group for survivors of sexual abuse called Beauty Out of Ashes link on her web site [4]. She has facilitated this faith based support group for nine years using Beyond the Darkness by Cynthia A. Kubetin [16] and James D. Mallory, Jr., M.D. The author uses this book as a study guide for her Beauty Out of Ashes Abuse support program and it can also be used by an individual for personal study, inner healing and growth. Beyond the Darkness exposes the false beliefs about abuse and pulls no punches about its overwhelming effects on the life of its victim. The author, Cynthia A. Kubetin Littlefield, M.A., L.P.C. is director, Christian Counseling Center of Houston, Texas [16]. She was sexually abused by several perpetrators and put in a mental institution before moving from victim to survivor to thriver and becoming a Licensed Professional therapist and counselor. She provides professional psychotherapy services and pastoral counseling for sexual, emotional and verbal abuse, sex addictions, anxiety disorders, dysfunctional family systems, eating disorders and marriage and family conflict.
Conclusion
After searching for years for inner soul healing and understanding for herself, Barbara realized that in order to become whole she had to unearth her past and heal the broken wounded child within. Being Heroin addict, she spent years trying to help that gave her his New International Version Recovery Devotional Bible as he left the crack house and went back to prison. Life out of death from sexual abuse was brought back to this pastor’s daughter as she spent hours reading this new version of the Bible and reflecting about the brokenness in her own life. She saw this was a unique tool for those who needed both spiritual and emotional healing or are recovering from addictive, compulsive or co-dependent behavior patterns. This Bible weaves the scriptures along with the - twelve-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA), Codependents Anonymous and other twelve-step groups. The author had a spiritual and emotional awakening as she began leading other survivors with broken wings out of darkness. She spent hours with many domestic violence survivors giving them truth, awareness and answers she once had needed herself as she taught her Beauty Out of Ashes Support Group over the past nine years. She has also helped her husband with his addictions face, his demons within and helping him understand that she has no tolerance for abuse! She presented her second Poster titled Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: NO TOLERANCE FOR ABUSE at the 18th International Violence, Abuse and Trauma Conference in September 2013 [17].
Her story has been published in Prison Living Wounds that Heal: Beyond Betrayal March 1, 2008 , Charisma Shame in the Sanactuary May 2000, Spirit Led Woman [18] Wounds that Heal August/September 2007, Signs of the Times [19] The Good Samaritan June 2005, Alliance Life [20]. A Survivor of Abuse Helps Other Victims September 2004, Saved [21] Shattering the Silence January/February 2007, PARABLES Listen to the Cry of the Child Vol. 2 Issue 4 October/November 2010 and World Magazines [22]. For the past seventeen years, the Milford, Ma. adopted mother has Presented in several adoption conferences including the 31st Annual New England Adoption Conference, May 8, 2004, the Adoption-Foster Care Planting Seeds Growing Families November 2007 O.D.S. Adoption Conference and Milford 2008 Adoption Conference [23]. She was asked to speak eighty staff at the Department of Social Services [24] in Whitinsville, Ma., March 2008 and the head of DSS in Boston in 2011. On February 20, 2008 she facilitated in H.U.G.S. Domestic Violence and Framingham, Ma., Round Table Discussion [25], spoken at Greater Grace Church in Marlboro, Ma. To New England Prison Chaplains January 27, 2011, Wings For Life dinner, February 27, 2012 with Women’s Recovery Academy in Albuquerque, N. Mex. [26], Key Speaker at International Coalition of Prison Evangelists COPE UK Scotland [27] and several Peace and Safety in the Christian Home PASCH [28] in Abbotsford, BC Canada, PASCH 2005 Newport Beach, Ca. and PASCH 2006 Gordon Conwell Seminary. In Nov. 2011 her story was published in Prison Fellowship Newspaper "Inside Journal" titled Abuse Inside the Wall [29]. Barbara gives a face to domestic violence and sexual abuse trauma. She signed her books at the Rock Church in San Diego, Ca. and spoke at I Will Stand 4 You Sexual Abuse Support Group [30] and spoke to the Natick Soldiers US Army Sexual Assault Prevention Unit in Natick, MA., showing her Power Point Presentation “Rescuing the Prisoner When the Prisoner is You!” April 2014. Her book has been on the Best Sellers List and in the CAABA Christian African American Booksellers Association Catalog [31]. The author signed her books at the 2003 CBA Christian Booksellers Association ICRS International Christian Retailers Show in Orlando, Fla. and 2006 in Denver, Co. She won the Poster Presentation Award in September 2012 at the 17th IVAT International Violence, Abuse and Trauma Conference [17] in San Diego, Ca. “Exploring the Complexities of Domestic Violence and the Web of Co-Dependency” and presented her second poster Sept. 2013 at the International Violence, Abuse and Trauma Conference in San Diego, Ca. titled “Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: No Tolerance for Abuse. She and her husband of 49 years have overcome domestic violence and have served as Chaplains for COPE [32] and for Christian Motorcyclists Association [33] and in prison ministry for 17 years. Barbara has spoken in prisons in the UK, Bristol, Shirley, Plymouth and Lowel House of Corrections and she and her husband have volunteered for three years at a State Prison Treatment Center for Sex Offenders in MA. [34].
“Exploring the Complexities of Domestic Violence & the Web of Co-dependancy.”
Objectives
1. Participants will be able to identify how a woman’s strengths often put her in danger for domestic violence      and abusive relationships.
2. Participants will be able to identify the risks of co-dependancy and the need to create healthy boundaries.
3. Participants will learn that soul healing is possible as we have the courage to begin the road to un-layer
     our grief and embrace our painful past.
Acknowledgements
Bernice McNeaney, Barbara’s Book Promoter came out of fifty years of darkness going through Beauty Out of Ashes Sexual Abuse Support Group. A former alcoholic and addict who at one time was homeless with her two children on the streets, is now an advocate and warrior helping give back to other survivors who need hope through inner soul healing and support. She and Barbara speak in prisons giving hope to sex offenders as well as those in domestic violence venues. Both Bernice and Barbara are members of RAINN Speakers Bureau https://www.rainn.org. “His Mission” from her home in Milford, Massachusetts receives no funding, however funding is welcomed by individuals who want to pay it forward to help survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence that have come through Barbara’s Beauty Out of Ashes Support Group. Barbara and Bernice pay it forward giving food and water to the homeless and help survivors get groceries, clothing and other resources they may need.
Bibliography
  1. http://www.safehelpline.org/effects-of-sexual-assault.cfm
  2. http://www.sfgate.com/crime/
  3. http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10921287/nothing-stay-buried-bosnia-herzegovina-forward-vedad-ibisevic-returns-homeland
  4. http://www.listentothecry.org
  5. http://www.bookmasters.com
  6. Allender, Dan B. Bold Love. Peabody USA: NavPress, 1993.
  7. Hall, Laurie. An Affair of the Mind. Colorado, United States: Focus on the Family Publishing, 1996.
  8. http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Darkness-Omega-Two-Disc-Blu-ray/dp/B003E1R5V4
  9. http://www.christiancouns.org/books.html
  10. Recovery Devotional Bible. Zondervan, 2006.
  11. http://mcgeeandme.net/books/shelter-from-the-storm-hope-for-survivors-of-sexual-abuse
  12. http://www.NavPress.com
  13. http://thepathlesschosen.com/
  14. http://janisaspring.com/
  15. Wright, Alan D. Shame Off You: Overthrowing the Tyrant Within. Multnomah Publisher 2005.
  16. http://www.christiancouns.org/about.html
  17. http://www.ivatcenters.org/
  18. http://www.charismamag.com/life/women
  19. http://www.pacificpress.com
  20. http://www.alliancelife.org
  21. http://savedmagazine.com/
  22. http://www.worldmag.com/
  23. http://www.AdoptionCommunityofNE.org
  24. http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dcf/
  25. www.eastonhugs.org
  26. http://www.wingsministry.org
  27. http://prisonministry.net/cpms
  28. http://godswordtowomen.org/pasch.htm
  29. http://prisonfellowship.org/resources/prison-ministry/inside-journal-archives
  30. www.sdrock.com
  31. http://www.acronymfinder.com/Christian-African_American-Booksellers-Association-%28Los-Angeles,-CA%29-%28CAABA%29.html
  32. http://www.copeconnections.org
  33. http://www.cmausa.org
  34. http://www.mass.gov/portal/
Copyright: © 2015 Barbara Hansen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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