Writing Out Child Abuse


Origin

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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[…] hope you’ll hop over to read J.S. Wayne’s WOCA statement of origin because there’s no way I can summarize his passion for this cause. But because I know not […]

Pingback by J.S. Wayne is Writing Out Child Abuse « Sarah Ballance




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