Friday, August 2, 2013

A New Normal...

(This is a temporary blog landing page as web servers for have been down at week's end.  Go to for usual blog posts.  This post will be transferred there once the web host is restored.)

Wow...What a crazy week.  It's been a good one in the realm of trafficking, as the FBI's recent crackdown resulted in 150 arrests and 105 minors rescued all over the U.S.  Also cringe worthy but good news is hearing that Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for holding 3 young women captive (Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry & Gina DeJesus.)

I rejoice heartily for these brave women & girls, and I am reminded that justice does exist especially in light of what's been divisive news lately.  While there is still much to do, it's encouraging to see our law enforcement and justice system band together to try to make a dent in this issue.

There's a key quote in the CNN article cited about the FBI's attempt to rescue young girls: "We have victims whose new normal is abuse and is drug-infected," Hosko said, explaining there is an environment of instability in which "the expectation of somebody who cares about them may last for 30 minutes or an hour before the abuse starts again."

This is why aftercare is SO crucial for long term healing when victims are rescued.   As we wrap up our month on Wellspring Living in Atlanta, I just want to leave you with some of their views in addressing the misconceptions that surround abuse.  Their book, The White Umbrella, does an excellent job...

"Stable is not always stable. Many children who are pulled out of abusive situations and placed in the care of loving families do not adjust well.  The reason for this is that their brains are conditioned to a state of "normal" that functions best in the terrible situation that they have just been rescued from....Often, creating a new and healthy 'normal" for an abused child involves much counseling and work to alter his or her templates of understanding."

"In order for us to be effective caregiver, mentors, and friends to girls recovering from sexual exploitation, we need understanding of psychological progressions they're working through."

Below are the Stages of Change as developed by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, and in light of recovery at WL.  WL states that this "helps us detect when a young woman is ready to change, and it also reminds us that relapse is a natural part of the restoration process." (*This process specifically details the complicated process of young women who have been manipulated by their pimp where they still feel a bond.)
  • Precontemplation: The girl in recovery acknowledges there are problems in her life but resists the idea of change.  She might say, "He's not my perpetrator, he's my boyfriend.'
  • Contemplation. She realizes her need for escape but cannot see a realistic solution.
  • Preparation.  She now recognizes she must make a change and begins planning alternatives to her current lifestyle.
  • Action.  She begins taking steps to address the problem, sometimes on her own, such as getting into school or therapy.
  • Maintenance.  She moves forward in her recovery and starts to feel successful.
  • Relapse.  Something triggers a crisis that causes her to return to her old lifestyle.  If she is in an an environment that doesn't support her newfound lifestyle, she tends to fall back into old patterns.
"Change, even good change, is difficult.  Each girl responds differently to the opportunity.  AS her support team, we must be the ever-present voice that cheers her on and coaches her to keep pursuing healthy change.  Ultimately, it is God who brings permanent change." 

We celebrate Wellspring Living as we close out our month on this special organization to help survivors in the Atlanta area!  We will continue to accept donations for them through the weekend at the 3for3Campaign donor site, (Aug 3-4th).

Look for all new information on our L.A. based organization Saving Innocence on Monday!

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