Writing Out Child Abuse


A Year Later:

After a year of setbacks, confusion, and things that didn’t quite work out the way we’d hoped, WOCA is back on track and ready to hit it harder than ever!

First, we are reopening submissions for the second WOCA anthology, Everyday Angels. We’re fortunate this time to have Paula Acton, A.R. Von, and A.D. Wayy already on the roster of authors who’ve submitted stories, and we’re looking for more! We’re seeking stories of 5,000-15,000 words, any genre, any heat level, for this anthology. The only rules are:

1) Child abuse MUST be a central conflict of the story, and cannot be depicted in a positive light or for titillation.

2) The abuser must face justice, in the system or the street: It’s entirely up to you!

3) The survivor must find closure in some manner.

If you’ve got the chops, or you have a story you’ve been wanting to tell but weren’t sure how or where, we want to see it!

Second, I’m proud to report that WOCA has raised $97.54 in the past year for child abuse prevention initiatives. Doesn’t sound like much for a year’s work, but believe me when I say every last penny of it was well-earned. We’re starting off slow, but I look at it as baby steps. Every sale is a victory, because it means that much more money to help child abuse survivors.

So tell your friends, your family, and even complete strangers. Open a dialogue. Abuse only survives in the shadows, and it’s up to all of us to take a stand. We’ll be back with more exciting news and plans soon!

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne



Some Revelations…
January 18, 2012, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I started putting the wheels for WOCA and the forthcoming anthology A Light In The Darkness in motion, I had only the vaguest idea what I hoped to accomplish. I knew perfectly well that I was asking my fellow authors to explore something painful. What I didn’t know, and should have realized from my own experience, was the depth of the emotional wounds I was asking them to reopen.

Several of the authors have told me their own, real-life stories. Those tales are not mine to tell, and if they choose to do so, they will in their own good time. The memory of abuse is a unique and horrible pain, and it is something you don’t simply “get over.” You get past it, you learn to live with it, you learn to cope. But those scars never truly heal, and many of us live in terror of becoming the very monsters we fear and despise.

I knew WOCA was deeply personal to me. But I didn’t realize, although in retrospect it should have been glaring obvious, just how personal it was to the other people who’ve gotten involved. We are united by shared pain, by shared rage, and by a cold, burning desire to keep our past from becoming another innocent’s future and fate.

All those who have told me their stories and submitted stories for A Light In The Darkness, knowing full well they were giving their work and sharing their pain with the world for nothing but the chance to make a difference in our world, are incredibly brave souls. They have delved into the most harrowing corners of their individual beings to answer this call. For my part, I applaud all of them for their courage and pray that the good I believe this project will do will in some small way offset the terrible memories they’ve forced themselves to relive .

As I’m writing this, my wife is watching Criminal Minds in the other room. A quote from G.K. Chesterton is recited by Thomas Gibson, and this quote sums up WOCA’s aim in a uniquely poignant way:

“Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.”

The stories included in A Light In The Darkness are no fairy tales and are certainly not intended for children’s eyes. Many adults will find this subject matter disturbing, because every shading of child abuse is explored in an unflinching and forthright, sometimes brutal, manner. What these stories offer is redemption for the abused, even if not in the way the reader might expect or hope, and justice for their tormentors.

To the best of my knowledge, a project on this scale and with these aims has never been attempted before. Child abuse is viewed as a taboo subject, to be spoken of in whispers if at all, in the confines of one’s own home, church, or with one’s therapist. What we set out to do is tear down the wall of silence and prove that child abuse is not something to speak of in whispers, but in wrathful screams.

If you know or have reason to believe that a child you know is being abused in any way, do not hesitate. Do not think twice. Contact your local authorities immediately. The key to saving children from becoming their tormentors is early action and intervention. Too many children do not get the assistance they need early enough to help, to their own detriment and that of society.

Don’t let someone you love have to live with those scars.

Keep watching this blog for more updates and information about the authors who’ve lent their talents to Writing Out Child Abuse, and keep your eyes open for the WOCA monthly newsletter, coming soon!

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne



Applause For E-Book Eros

http://4-letterwords.ebook-eros.com/2011/10/taboo-topics-your-books-your-choice

Although we as Americans enjoy certain basic protections under the law, this chilling question strikes right at the heart of where the line between free speech and criminal behavior is drawn. Rather than pulling this offensive work off their shelves immediately and thereby appointing themselves arbiters of taste and morality, E-book Eros instead put the question to the readers as to whether or not books such as this are “acceptable” fare. For which they should be applauded; how many banned books exist that have achieved such status on FAR less merit than the work in question?

While, as publishing industry professionals in our own right, we support the First Amendment right to free speech, we also balance that right with the belief that certain subjects simply are not okay to portray in anything approaching a positive manner.

And a book that purports to give advice on how to be a better pedophile certainly falls firmly into the latter category.

So let E-book Eros know that although we support the First Amendment rights of authors and have no issue with sex-positive works, there are some taboos that should stay that way. One voice can be heard, and we, as a voice for those who have none, can and should speak out against guides which seem to suggest it’s in any way acceptable behavior to victimize our children.



Writing Out Child Abuse
August 22, 2011, 4:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The first thing you should know is, I’m not an organizer. I’m a heavy lifter, a workhorse, and an idea kind of person. Funny how things change.

This whole concept started when I read a couple of truly horrifying child abuse stories in the forum of one of the critique groups I belong to. I stared at the stories in open-mouthed shock.

Then the anger started.

Not the “I need to punch a wall and get it out of my system” kind of anger. This wasn’t even the “I need to go out in the desert with a firearm and go target shooting until I feel better” kind of anger. This was something colder and darker. Something deeper. And something that I knew could never be exorcised.

The second thing you should know is: I myself am a survivor of child sexual abuse.

There. I said it.

The abuse I suffered wasn’t at the hands of a family member or loved one. My family didn’t have any idea until I finally acknowledged what had happened, years after the fact. Years of hiding what had befallen me, of shame that somehow I had done something wrong, and of behaving in ways that left my family absolutely confounded, because they simply didn’t have the right information to understand what was inside me, trying to claw its way into the light.

When they found out, they spent a lot of time in recrimination. The signs were so clear in retrospect, and they just never quite put the pieces together. No matter how I assured them it wasn’t their fault, and that they couldn’t have known about what happened because I didn’t tell them, it made no difference. Parents being parents, I suppose. But nevertheless, my abuser set into motion something that had immediate and far-reaching effects for my family and the ripples in my life from what happened are still with me to this day.

To this day, I struggle with depression. My expressions of anger are occasionally more appropriate to a three-year-old (the age at which it happened, if you’re curious) than to a thirty-three-year-old man. There is still a feeling of shame, no matter how irrational it may be.

It also gave me a unique perspective on, appreciation for, and empathy for victims of child abuse. And a very harsh and unforgiving outlook on their abusers.

But for years, I didn’t have any clear idea of what to do to help others who’d been through what I have, beyond “something.”

That changed yesterday. I asked one question in the forum. When I had my answer, I got to work.

And this is the result: A collaboration between publishers, agents, and authors to help kids in situations like my own . . . and even worse. Kids who are in constant physical, mental, and emotional jeopardy and turmoil because of something that wasn’t their fault.

It’s in its infancy, but the overwhelming response in ONE DAY tells me that there are good people out there who want to make a difference. So I, and the other authors that have been contacted to assist with this undertaking, will keep on.

We’re going to tell our stories. The ones that really happened to us.

We’re also going to do what we do best. We’re going to write. We’re going to craft quality stories in our chosen genres, publish them, and donate the proceeds from our stories, novels, and novellas dedicated to this cause to charities whose only goal is to help children touched by these horrors. And, God willing, give these children hope.

Someone’s got to take the first step, though. And today, here, and now, that someone is me.

I’m J.S. Wayne.

Will you join us?




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