I'm also a recovering adult survivor of severe child abuse, and this effort, NAASCA, was born out of my own life .. my personal experience.
Participating at NAASCA - 1/19/16
This is but one of the numerous social media and Internet efforts that www.NAASCA.org uses to help educate the public and offer help and healing to the community. We hope to move those still suffering from abuse and trauma away from the darkness and into the light.
First of all, we'd like to ask you to add your email address to our Newsletter list. We've just been required to start on a brand new, fresh list, so even if you believe you'd been on it in the past we ask you to please visit the link below and add yourself again.
NAASCA newsletter list:
The NAASCA family maintains has quite a presence on social media. On Facebook alone we have two public pages, two public groups (one set up as a SCAN talk show "fan page" by an enthusiastic NAASCA member, Carl Hart) and a closed group (only members of this last group can see the sharing there).
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse - public page (1,800 "likes"):
Abuse The Darkness Within NAASCA.org - public page (26,000 "likes"):
NAASCA and SCAN, "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show - public group (450 members):
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) Blog Talk Radio Show Fan Page - public group (800 members):
NAASCA Closed Group - closed group (1,250 members):
NOTE: As we said, there's also a secret "invitation only" group on Facebook, but members need to specifically ask to be added there by contacting Lisa Dawn Wilkins or Bill Murray.
We also have other social media efforts including a LinkedIn group, a BLOG, a presence on Twitter and, of course, our "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show.
LinkedIn - NAASCA group - (125 members):
BLOG - Together We Can Heal - NAASCA's Blog:
Twitter - NAASCA's official Twitter name:
"Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show:
We do a six-night-a-week, Internet-based "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk radio show. They all air LIVE at 8pm EST (so 7pm CEN, 6pm MTN, 5pm PAC) every night except Saturday. There are multiple topics and formats but all shows offer the opportunity for community participation either by listening or calling in, or by sharing in our ever-present chat rooms (these require a person create a log-in name to be able to type).
It's also noteworthy that all these episodes (we've done almost 1,700 of them over the years) are recorded as they are air, and are available later as "on-demand" pod casts, through our ever growing library of shows:
Please and SHARE these resources (feel free to copy and past this post) and anything else you like from our NAASCA web site, our social media offerings and our talk shows. We all need to participate in outreach, to educate the public and help our fellow survivors of abuse and trauma.
PS: If you'd like to quickly see a list of most of what NAASCA
does (some 30 FREE services, projects and tools) you can fins a list of most of them at the bottom of our HIGHLIGHTS page. They've all been created by the entirely volunteer participation of our fellow NAASCA family members, and paid for out of our own pockets. We recieve no financial support from any other group, but cooperate and promote many !!
Here's where to see the list (at the bottom):
Together we can do what we can not do alone!
Here's an article, an interview with the RAACE organization, where I was asked to give a short version of my life story:
A survivor shares his story: “Together we can do what we cannot do alone”
Bill Murray -- NAASCA.org
|| A survivor shares his story: “Together we can do what we cannot do alone”
by RAACE.org - Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere
Bill Murray, survivor, public safety advocate (LACP.org), founder of National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA.org), host of the Internet talk radio show "Stop Child Abuse Now" (BlogTalkRadio.com/Bill-Murray), and founder of ASCAA, a 12 Step recovery program for adult survivors of child abuse (ASCA12step.org), shared his story with RAACE.
I was sexually abused for several years, starting when I was 11. I didn't tell anyone, and internalized my fear, anger and shame. An introvert with a temper, I started doing badly in school and getting into trouble. I hated myself, and began drinking heavily as soon as I could get my hands on alcohol.
I drank and used drugs throughout my 20s. I knew that my substance abuse was related to my sexual abuse, but I couldn't find the help I needed. In my early teens, I'd told my complete story to a priest during a long Confession, but it turned out I'd chosen a predator priest! The psychiatrist I saw later didn't help. There were no services for male sexual abuse victims in the 70s, so I tried seeking help from a rape counselor. But I was turned away.
In the early 80s, I was graced to find an Alcoholics Anonymous home group where the elders understood that, for me, talking about my child abuse and trauma was an important part of my recovery. They encouraged me to share about it, seeing that it might help others, too. This was a turning point. Although I still didn't talk about the experience outside the anonymity of the organization, I was taught that the 12 Steps, the basis of AA, are “a design for living,” and, as such, can be used to help a person recover from anything. They became not only the basis for my recovery from substance abuse but also my recovery from sexual assault. I've been sober since 1984. About 20 years into my recovery I began to go public with the story of my childhood sexual abuse.
By then I had done a lot of public safety advocacy, so I was familiar with the role of being an activist. But I'd promised myself I'd postpone disclosing the trauma of my youth since I knew how much it would hurt my non-offending parents. They were devout Catholics and many of my abusers were members of the clergy. I knew the time had arrived when after my father passed away and my mother was moving into the later stages of Alzheimer's disease. I was ready to share my story of abuse and recovery in the general public.
That's when I launched the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (NAASCA). Our all-volunteer group works to educate, inform and prevent all forms of child abuse and trauma—physical abuse, psychological trauma, sexual assault, verbal abuse, and neglect. We support anyone from any walk of life with their recovery, too. We educate the public about the pandemic of child abuse, teaching what can be done to prevent it. All the services and information we offer are free. Our hope is to be a hub for resources, and feature an online list of every English language abuse support and recovery group in the world.
We also produce an Internet-based “Stop Child Abuse Now” talk radio show six nights a week, with guests who are survivors and/or activists or recovery professionals. We provide a nightly opportunity for listeners to call in, or to post questions via our chat room. All our over 1400 episodes are available in an ever-growing library for “on demand” listening. We're building a community, because personal recovery depends on being able to connect with others. That's what we strive to provide—that shared opportunity to connect.
This work and engaging with a larger community have become an important part of my personal recovery. I'm not trying to solve the problem of child abuse alone. That would be naive. I'm working to encourage everyone to make the problem visible. Many people are in denial, either about the trauma of their own experiences or about the existence of abuse in their families and communities. My hope is that someday we'll turn a corner, where child abuse and childhood sexual assault will no longer be a taboo topic in our society. Vocalization—that's the path to progress.
But this isn't something any of us are going to accomplish by ourselves. It's something we need to do together, because together we can do what we cannot do alone.
Join RAACE by becoming a RAACE Fan on Facebook and/or subscribing to our monthly newsletter and inviting those within your child's circle of trust to join in the fight against and prevention of child sexual abuse! Visit RAACE.org today or call 1.800.755.KIDS.
Our Board of Directors enthusiastically agreed to support my request to launch NAASCA, a separate non profit effort by way of focusing our energies to take advantage of my own personal experiences. We decided this could best be best done by starting a new web site (NAASCA.org), one where we'll help others understand there is life after abuse, and a process to follow to get into recovery.
Additionally we'll want to highlight the continuing need to protect the most vulnerable and weakest among us, principally children, from pedophiles who abuse, kidnap, kill, traffic and take advantage of our kids.
We're particularly interested in reaching men, who seem by their nature to feel especially ashamed and guilty about their youthful experiences, and are known to be more reluctant to get the help they so desperately need.
But we'll be inclusive as possible. We want to help adult women who are survivors of child abuse, and kids of both sexes. We also hope to be able to assist people of any age who have been induced into the sex-worker trade and wish to escape it.
In my case I was a severely molested child (starting at 11 years old and lasting through high school), the victim of multiple pedophiles, sometimes "sharing" between them, the survivor of a two week interstate and international kidnapping (at age 13) and the of model for thousands of pornographic pictures as a pre-pubescent child. These experiences spanned my adolescence.
I tried to tell some of the adults in my life about what had happened to me, but ended up telling the wrong people, and some of them turned out to be predators who were interested in me, too.
In the end I just held on, waiting for the time when I would be old enough, big enough and "adult" enough to not be a victim anymore.
||Many of us who have suffered abuse have things in common. We frequently feel a sense of shame and guilt, and fear our secrets will be "discovered" by our friends, family or co-workers. Low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness are common.
Many of us feel desperately alone.
As we grow its not unusual for child abuse victims to choose destructive paths. In my case I turned to alcohol and drugs, which helped me feel capable of living inside my own skin. Eventually my drinking and drug use became a problem in and of itself (happily I got clean and sober in 1984).
Others turn to other things. Some abused youth will run away from home, some will attempt suicide, others will get involved in the sex industry as prostitutes, dancers or as actors in pornographic films.
Many will have a terrible time trusting people, and maintaining healthy relationships will be nearly impossible.
Some will become embroiled in cases of domestic violence or will turn to other criminal activities.
Its my belief that we were diverted from our destiny, and our lives were changed forever, in the moment we were first violated.
Yet recovery is possible .. if we work for it .. and its my goal to spread this happy news: that what may seem impossible to survive in adulthood is much easier to overcome if we realize we are not alone, that others are in recovery, too. We frequently achieve a certain sense of relief as we begin to let go of our secrets in a healthy and supportive environment. I recommend one's journeys include being a part of a group of survivors as well as getting help from the community of trained therapists and counselors.
Even as we come to understand that, as a child, we were innocent and guilt free with in our childhood abuse experiences (the ADULT who molested us was in control) and accept no responsibility for our childhood abuse, the fear and resentment we've carried ever since controls us.
We need to reach out to accept the tried-and-true set of tools offered by groups such as the Morris Center in their "Survivor to Thriver" manual. I thoroughly support and recommend the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse program, which I use myself.
I'm proud the the NAASCA organization has produced a GLOBAL listing of all the Recovery Groups and Services we can find in the English speaking world!
As survivors ourselves, we want to learn how we can help others who suffer from similar life situations. The fact is there are thousands of kids even today who are in desperate need of assistance. The number of kids involved in the sex-trade industry in America alone is 100,000 a year, a staggering figure (according to John Walsh on "America's Most Wanted").
Still more thousands
go missing, and many are never heard of again (see: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children MissingKids web site).
As such, our mission at NAASCA will really be two-fold.
|First, we'll seek to assist adult survivors of child abuse achieve meaningful recovery, with the goal of leading happy lives with fulfilling and healthy relationships, and
Secondly, we'll offer resources that inform the community of the ongoing need to help the most vulnerable amongst us today, mainly our innocent children and / or those still caught up in manifestations of their tortured experiences as youth.
In 2009 I recorded the story of my experience on our "Community Matters" radio talk show, available free and on-demand. I invite you to listen to it.
I've also offered to travel anywhere in the country to speak to groups of my experiences, and more importantly of my recovery, and will happily offer to honestly answer media questions. Feel free to contact me at the email address you'll find below (please add NAASCA to the subject line).
There are very few of us who have had extended recovery after surviving severe child abuse, kidnapping and child pornography (over 30 years of recovery in my case).
If I can help one child avoid what I went through, or one family avoid what my family experienced, it'll be worth spending the rest of my life serving the community of the Abused and Traumatized adult survivors of child abuse.
Yours in service,
(please add NAASCA to your subject line)