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GRR

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Child Abuse Survivor Monument

I'm posting this in R&F because, for me, it’s how we conduct ourselves in our daily life that’s the true measure of our faith.

artist's rendition of the final placement of the Monument 

Twenty years ago, Dr. Michael Irving had a vision – he dreamed of creating a monument to honour the survivors of child abuse. Not just any monument. This would include the images and words of over two hundred child abuse survivors and the “handprints” of up to a million supporters.

 

He’s been laboring ever since to bring that vision to fruition, gathering, along the way, an impressive range of supporters.

 

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Irving. He’s a dedicated and compassionate man who’s devoted his life to helping others. I find that dedication inspiring.

 

I’ve written an article on the Golden Rule Radical about the Child Abuse Survivor Monument and Dr. Irving’s plans to complete it within the next year. Rather than retell the story here, I’ve included the link.

Michael Irving's Vision - the Child Abuse Survivor Monument

 

There’s a website for the Monument, but it’s a bit disorganized – kind of like my desk. The GRR article includes links to some of the key pages, as well as a Facebook group and Twitter account. The group has over a thousand members and almost as many people follow the project’s progress on Twitter.

 

There’s even a meditation “pond” on the site. I’ve used it several times.

 

I hope that you’ll take a few minutes to read the article, and perhaps participate in the upcoming campaign to finalize the bronzing of the monument and to secure a permanent home for it on the grounds of Queens Park. (For those who may not know, Queens Park is Ontario’s legislative complex in Toronto).

 

To me, if faith doesn't compel us to action - if it's just a bunch of words, whether typed into a forum or pronounced from a pulpit - its meaningless. Dr. Irving could have been content with his work as a therapist. That's surely action enough.

 

This monument is more. Over the years, it's touched people across Canada. The testimonials on the website come from all walks of life. The words and tears of the survivors, the enthusiasm of the children involved in the "Give Kids a Hand" campaign, the support of politicians and business people, speak to the creation of an image that crosses all boundaries, embraces all experiences, respects all those who are vulnerable.

 

That inclusiveness, to me, is the most powerful expression of faith.

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stardust's picture

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GRR

Wonderful!

 

I checked out the link and I'm reading on the Aviva link now. I didn't vote yet, waiting for more details from you about how its done. I hope with all my heart that the money can be raised. Its a beautiful monument and its  needed.

 

Quote: (Beautiful)

 

"On the figures are the individual contributions of 276 child abuse survivors – handprints; illustrations of courage and pain and tragedy and triumph. Some include a message. Some speak solely through their imagery."

 

Aviva

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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GRR wrote:

To me, if faith doesn't compel us to action - if it's just a bunch of words, whether typed into a forum or pronounced from a pulpit - its meaningless. Dr. Irving could have been content with his work as a therapist. That's surely action enough.

 

 

Well said David.

 

I believe it is important in a world where the media prefers to highlight the scandalous that someone somewhere points out those that do good.  Words are actions.  They paint a picture of the world.  If all people read is the negative it becomes impossible to see that anything good is being done.

 

Kudos for Dr. Irving and all those who act on the belief that the world can be a better place despite what the headlines report.

 

 

LB


Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.

     Buddha (563-483 B.C)

paradox3's picture

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GRR wrote:

This monument is more. Over the years, it's touched people across Canada. The testimonials on the website come from all walks of life. The words and tears of the survivors, the enthusiasm of the children involved in the "Give Kids a Hand" campaign, the support of politicians and business people, speak to the creation of an image that crosses all boundaries, embraces all experiences, respects all those who are vulnerable.

 

Hi GRR, 

 

This sounds like a wonderful initiative . . . thanks for bringing it to our attention. 

 

Welcome back to the cafe.  Does your new user name mean Golden Rule Radical?  I am assuming that it does, but it occurs to me that GRR is sometimes used to mean the growl of a dog. 

 

I'm just saying. 

 

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stardust wrote:

I checked out the link and I'm reading on the Aviva link now. I didn't vote yet, waiting for more details from you about how its done. I hope with all my heart that the money can be raised. Its a beautiful monument and its  needed.

 

thanks stardust. I think so too.

Voting begins on Oct. 4 and I plan to add a note with details as soon as I have them.

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LBmuskoka wrote:

 If all people read is the negative it becomes impossible to see that anything good is being done.

Kudos for Dr. Irving and all those who act on the belief that the world can be a better place despite what the headlines report.

 

amen to that.

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paradox3 wrote:

Welcome back to the cafe.  Does your new user name mean Golden Rule Radical?  I am assuming that it does, but it occurs to me that GRR is sometimes used to mean the growl of a dog. 

 

lol - thanks P3. Definitely a bit of both. When I started the radical site 5 years ago it was because I did, and still do, believe that the message of "Do Unto Others" is not only universal but that it calls us to see the world in a radically different way. The growl formed by the abbreviation was an unintended but welcome addendum because I also do not, as you know, think that we're in any way called to pacifism. Sometimes we need to not only growl but to back it up with bite.

 

David

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paradox3 wrote:

GRR wrote:

This monument is more. Over the years, it's touched people across Canada. The testimonials on the website come from all walks of life. The words and tears of the survivors, the enthusiasm of the children involved in the "Give Kids a Hand" campaign, the support of politicians and business people, speak to the creation of an image that crosses all boundaries, embraces all experiences, respects all those who are vulnerable.

 

Hi GRR, 

 

This sounds like a wonderful initiative . . . thanks for bringing it to our attention. 

 

Welcome back to the cafe.  Does your new user name mean Golden Rule Radical?  I am assuming that it does, but it occurs to me that GRR is sometimes used to mean the growl of a dog. 

 

I'm just saying. 

 

 

His GRRowl is worse than his bite.

 

I would like to join others in welcoming David back to the Café.

 

 I do agree that child abuse is the most horrible crime committed against the most innocent and defenseless people in society. Not only is child abuse horrible, anthing that belittles child abuse is despicable.

Neo's picture

Neo

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Good to see you back GR-GRR-David. You're one of the many sound voices of reason here.

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revjohn

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Hi GRR,

 

You know, you might want to think that username through a bit.  Unless, of course, you were going for growly.  

GRR wrote:

I'm posting this in R&F because, for me, it’s how we conduct ourselves in our daily life that’s the true measure of our faith.

Oddly enough that is becoming something of a theme in several conversations here.  You should poke your nose into a few other threads.

 

GRR wrote:

This monument is more. Over the years, it's touched people across Canada. The testimonials on the website come from all walks of life. The words and tears of the survivors, the enthusiasm of the children involved in the "Give Kids a Hand" campaign, the support of politicians and business people, speak to the creation of an image that crosses all boundaries, embraces all experiences, respects all those who are vulnerable.

 

That inclusiveness, to me, is the most powerful expression of faith.

 

In that respect I find it similar to the Cenotaphs that dot our communities.  I hate to stand in front or beside of them, moved to fury by the magnitude of the names included on them and yet profoundly touched by the reality that life is costly and those names are part of that price.

 

That such a monument exists invites me to consider the rage of injustice suffered as well as all of the attendant pain.  It also concretely points to an end.  Some time where those who have suffered can begin to move away from that suffering.

 

And in much the same way that Remembrance services give us an opportunity to view the cost paid by those who did not need to have their names enshrined so that we can resolve that "never again" is our position even when "yet again" seems necessary.

 

Thanks for the link.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

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revjohn

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 I should have read through the thread first.  Seems my observation isn't as original as I presumed.

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Hi GRR---Welcome---Child  Abuse was not something  I had to deal with growing up . I know many did, and understand it is with them all there lifes. I'v always Believed Christians are called to give  if asked even there lifes.You have my hand on this David. There  is a saying I'v hered , Never does Man stand so tall , as when He bends to help a Child. God bless David. ---airclean33

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Morning everyone.

Thanks so much for the positive response to this.

Dr.Irving and the people helping him have created their Aviva campaign page

 http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf5451

 

Voting doesn't open until Oct. 4 but you can bookmark the page and read the background material.

 

They're also still working on updates to the monument website itself so you still might find the little summary of links in my article easier to navigate. The Monument has had so many supporters and over the years that I found myself getting lost while looking around.

David

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GRR

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revjohn wrote:

 I should have read through the thread first.  Seems my observation isn't as original as I presumed.

A reason to smile is never amiss for being repeated.

GRR's picture

GRR

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airclean33 wrote:

Hi GRR---Welcome---Child  Abuse was not something  I had to deal with growing up . I know many did, and understand it is with them all there lifes. I'v always Believed Christians are called to give  if asked even there lifes.You have my hand on this David.

Thank you ac, that means a lot.

ac wrote:

There  is a saying I'v hered , Never does Man stand so tall , as when He bends to help a Child.

Amen

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revjohn wrote:

In that respect I find it similar to the Cenotaphs that dot our communities.  I hate to stand in front or beside of them, moved to fury by the magnitude of the names included on them and yet profoundly touched by the reality that life is costly and those names are part of that price.

 

That such a monument exists invites me to consider the rage of injustice suffered as well as all of the attendant pain.  It also concretely points to an end.  Some time where those who have suffered can begin to move away from that suffering.

 

And in much the same way that Remembrance services give us an opportunity to view the cost paid by those who did not need to have their names enshrined so that we can resolve that "never again" is our position even when "yet again" seems necessary.

 

Beautifully put John. I think it embodies what Dr. Irving is hoping to accomplish very well. You should send this to him for inclusion in the Monument. He hopes to fill the interior with exactly the kind of statement that you've made.

 

He is planning to print off and include messages posted on the Facebook group but the "Give Kids a Hand" page has his address to actually send messages to.

http://www.irvingstudios.com/child_abuse_survivor_monument/GiveUsAHand.htm

 

David

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GRR

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Arminius wrote:

His GRRowl is worse than his bite.

I would like to join others in welcoming David back to the Café.

Thanks Arm. I prefer to nibble whenever possible.

 

Arm wrote:

 I do agree that child abuse is the most horrible crime committed against the most innocent and defenseless people in society. Not only is child abuse horrible, anthing that belittles child abuse is despicable.

Amen to both sentiments my friend.

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Neo wrote:

Good to see you back GR-GRR-David. You're one of the many sound voices of reason here.

That's high praise Neo. Thank you.

paradox3's picture

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How unfortunate that this thread is attracting so much less attention (i.e. many fewer posts) than the original exchange between BrettA and Golden Rule. 

 

We seem to be drawn to arguments like moths to flames around here.   

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revjohn wrote:

 I should have read through the thread first.  Seems my observation isn't as original as I presumed.

 

GRReat minds think alike, RevJohn. 

 

(sorry, I couldn't resist that one) 

LBmuskoka's picture

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paradox3 wrote:

How unfortunate that this thread is attracting so much less attention (i.e. many fewer posts) than the original exchange between BrettA and Golden Rule. 

One of the downsides to splitting discussions but....

 

paradox3 wrote:

We seem to be drawn to arguments like moths to flames around here.   

the upside to splitting is the negative remains in one and the positive can be highlighted in another.

 

 

LB


The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

     Oscar Wilde

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paradox3 wrote:

GRReat minds think alike, RevJohn. 

 

Where is Tony the Tiger when you need him??

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Hi GRR,

 

GRR wrote:

Where is Tony the Tiger when you need him??

 

Diabetic Coma?

 

A tiger that eats that much sugar might experience Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

GRR's picture

GRR

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paradox3 wrote:

How unfortunate that this thread is attracting so much less attention (i.e. many fewer posts) than the original exchange between BrettA and Golden Rule. 

 

We seem to be drawn to arguments like moths to flames around here.   

Remember the nature of the café P3. This is an online Tim Horton's. Sometimes it's like your neighbourhood after-work watering hole. Its where people come to solve the world's problems and then go home for dinner. The "Cheers" where "everybody knows your name."

 

And that's okay.

 

I didn't expect a lot of discussion around the Monument. I'm just hoping for everyone's support. Think of it like the tip jar on the counter at Timmy's where you can drop your change when you get your double double and help send a kid to camp. Takes a second, costs little, and you feel as if you've done something good - because you have.

 

Voting in the Aviva Community Fund campaign is just as easy.

Bookmark http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf5451  and, starting Monday, Oct. 4, click on the link once every day to help push the Child Abuse Survivor Monument to the top.

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GRR

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Wanted to share the video Dr. Irving made for the Aviva campaign.

 

GRR's picture

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There have been some very insightful comments over in CrazyH's "disappointed " thread. Seemed like a good idea to carry a few bits over to this "table" in the café. I hope I'm not creating a mistaken interpretation by snipping short bits. I leave it to the respective authors to add detail if they feel its required. -

 

RevJohn on the challenge faced by victims to be believed -

revjohn wrote:

I am mindful that it has been a fairly recent development that law enforcement began to take the words of the victims on par with their alleged abusers.

 

LBM on the mistake of "profiling" abusers as any one type of person or profession -

LBmuskoka wrote:

 

Demonizing any one segment of the population cloaks another with lack of awareness.


Someday, maybe there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit.

     Eric Erickson (1902–1994)

 

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revjohn wrote:

Hi GRR,

 

GRR wrote:

Where is Tony the Tiger when you need him??

 

Diabetic Coma?

 

A tiger that eats that much sugar might experience Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

 

Grace and peace to you.

John

 

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crazyheart

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David, I will be voting on Oct.4th and have been following this thread,

GRR's picture

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Thanks CH.

Just about an hour until voting opens folks. I hope that you will all take the few minutes needed to "register" (just an email address is all that's needed, like any other online site) and cast a vote.

 

Please remember that it's a "vote a day", so when you check your email or come to the cafe, please make it part of your routine to add a vote for the next two weeks.

 

It's a very small commitment - at no cost - for such a worthwhile project.

 

P3 mentioned that it's unfortunate that this thread has gotten fewer posts than the ones involving flame wars. Frankly, that doesn't bother me at all .... as long as those reading this take that one small, silent action to help Dr.Irving's beautiful image come to life.

 

Please support this effort to honour and memorialize the victims of child abuse.

 

http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf5451

 

DAvid

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GRR

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I thought that I would share a story that I found on the child abuse monument site. It's one of many showing the power of this project to move those involved -

 Most of the handprints that make up the "quilt" on the Monument were created by the victims themselves, in workshops with Dr. Irving.

 

That of Martin Kruze is different.

 

It was Martin who first brought the tragedy of the abuse at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto to light in the late 90s. He was a courageous young man.

 

Martin committed suicide before he could make his own handprint.

 

The family asked Dr. Irving how Martin could still be part of the Monument. In response, Dr. Irving visited the funeral home and, with the family's blessing, took an impression of Martin's hand.

 

With your help, that final gesture - that reaching out from beyond death to defy those who robbed him of life - will be placed forever in a place of honour and remembrance; to encourage and comfort those who need it most.

 

 

 

You can read more about Martin and his involvement with Dr. Irving's effort here"

http://www.irvingstudios.com/child_abuse_survivor_monument/Martin_Kruze.htm

GRR's picture

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I've cast my first vote.

How about you?

http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf5451

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Slight correction folks

You can participate in the Aviva voting regardless of where you are.

 

I had thought it was limited to folks in Canada, since the projects are Canadian. Not the case.

 

So for folks like PP and others who may not live in the land of the Maple Leaf, you can still help to realize the creation of the Monument.

David

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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I voted

stardust's picture

stardust

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David

I registered. I checked 12 pages and I didn't find the one about the monument. What page is it on? I saw one on abuse but it was a different one.  This round one of the voting closes Oct. 15th. We have to step on the gas. There's a lot of competition. I'll vote everyday, no problem. We're allowed  10 votes each, 9 to go. I'll try to get some other people to vote. 

The Kruze video is very touching, it leaves one speechless.

 

P.S. That's odd. I checked again now and its on the front page. It wasn't there before. I voted.....YES.....lets all get together and do this!  We need to vote everyday. Don't forget! I posted a comment under ....Lets Help : We can do this! YES WE CAN......!!!

 

myst's picture

myst

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I just voted.

stardust - click on David's link 3 posts up.

 

stardust's picture

stardust

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myst

I did click David's link. I got it the 2nd. time around. Sometimes these voting sites have problems. Too busy maybe?

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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Count me in!

gecko46's picture

gecko46

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I just voted.  Got into the site OK using David's link.

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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voted - worked perfect from david's link.

stardust's picture

stardust

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I just voted again today. 84 votes there now.

GRR's picture

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I want to thank everyone who is making the effort to vote for the Monument. It means a lot to me personally and I know that Michael appreciates your support.

 

It's unfortunate that so many of the people who initially joined the Monument Facebook group and Twitter account seem to have drifted away, or at least have not taken the few minutes needed to sign in to vote.  As there are well over a thousand names in those groups, voting from the majority of them would have almost certainly put the Monument in first place.

 

As I understand the setup for the competition, only the top 10 ideas will move forward. I did a quick review of the proposals and while the Monument is doing well, I'm not sure it will make it.

 

If you know of anyone else in your circle of online friends who might be willing to add their voice to this effort, I hope that you'll pass the link along and ask them to pitch in.

 

Thanks

David

stardust's picture

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David

I did pass the link along. Sorry we are lagging behind at 175 votes. 10 votes for each person beginning on day one, one vote per day,  so its hard to catch up re newcomers.

 

 

603 votes - Inner City School Playground. No doubt the whole school got behind it.

396 votes

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stardust wrote:

David

I did pass the link along. Sorry we are lagging behind at 175 votes. 10 votes for each person beginning on day one, one vote per day,  so its hard to catch up re newcomers.

 

603 votes - Inner City School Playground. No doubt the whole school got behind it.

Hi Stardust.

Well, I never expected that our small group would be able to make it happen on its own but it's wonderful how many have pitched in. Never let it be said that the cafe is nothing more than a group of nattering nannies eh?

 

As I think I mentioned (might have been in another forum if not here), if the people who joined Dr. Irving's Facebook and Twitter groups had all been active, he would easily be the frontrunner.

 

Unfortunately I think a lot of them drifted away some time ago. The Monument has been an ongoing project for a long time and its very difficult to sustain such a large undertaking over such a long period.

 

I confess that I find Dr. Irving's struggle to honour the contributions of people like Martin Kruze and the other abuse survivors whose hands are on the Monument almost as heart-wrenching as the tragedy it seeks to symbolize.

 

I wasn't aware of the plan to participate in the Aviva campaign until a couple of weeks before it started. Otherwise I might have been able to help reach out more actively to re-energize the people who had been active in the past.

 

However, there's still a week and half in this first round. Hopefully, enough people will pitch in help carry the Monument into the second round.

 

Thanks for the support

David

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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I posted it on my FB page

LBmuskoka's picture

LBmuskoka

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GRR wrote:

However, there's still a week and half in this first round. Hopefully, enough people will pitch in help carry the Monument into the second round.

 

Thanks for the support

David

This is what I was going to point out.  This is only round one and it is quite possible that there will be enough votes to get it to the next level.

 

 

LB


Change starts when someone sees the next step.

     William Drayton

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 Researchers have confirmed that a simple action can significantly reduce the long term effects of child abuse. After years of studying the brains of adult survivors of child abuse and conducting thousands of interviews with patients and treatment professionals, the research has concluded that one action has significantly and consistently delivered improved quality of life on test subjects. The unique result of this study is that unlike other treatment options, this one results from the actions of others and not the patient themselves. Anyone can help.

 

Researchers announced that the simple act of acknowledgment of the childhood abuse, its horror, and the pain with which the survivor now lives, can significantly reduce the long term effects of the abuse.
 

 

You can read the rest of Dr. Irviung's comments on this research, including the reference to the study, by clicking here
 

 

 

stardust's picture

stardust

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Even if we don't win the votes can show that there is a lot of interest in the project and that we care.

Fwd. Voting Link:

http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf5451

 

 

crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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bump

stardust's picture

stardust

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bump

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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Just put in my vote for today. You're getting all 10 of my votes this year (would have been a split last year since a friend's employer had a very worthy project that I supported).

 

Mendalla

 

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stardust

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Hi

Its round one folks.

It goes on to two more  rounds and then the semi finals. 

 

 If we all vote everyday and manage to bring in some new folks we'll have a chance to do much better.

 

 Competition and votes format:

http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/about/timeline

 

Don't go away! Stay with us!  Thanks .

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