Today, Draft Foreward and Chapter 1
Chapters will be added to this website as the work unfolds.
We are looking for an editor / publisher to turn these chapters into KARA’s next printed and audio book
Please share these pages with your networks and provide feedback and your perspective as it progresses.
What’s changed since INVISIBLE CHILDREN was written in 2005?
Mike Tikkanen, KARA volunteers and board members have gathered information about child abuse and child protection around the nation and the world for over twenty years.
This book is the 30,000 foot perspective on the public health crisis of generational child abuse in America and how it impacts each one of us in unseen profound ways every day.
Reporting on data and stories over decades from every state gives this author a perspective of how the traumatizing of America’s children is damaging public health & safety, schools and social fabric and becoming the largest taxpayer burden in hundreds of cities and counties around the nation.
The book is a thank you to every school principal, teacher, social worker, health worker, adoptive/foster family, policy maker and everyone else dedicated to making life easier for the traumatized/tortured children that have fallen through cracks & trying to lead a normal life.
I’ve talked with many of you and found that we are beginning to sense the vastness of the problem and have a strong commitment to make change happen.
There are no easy answers – but a path to better answers emerges if you stick with us and follow the stories, studies and information to the last chapter.
We are all in this together.
Pliny the Elder stated 2000 years ago, “what we do to our children they will do to society”.
Let’s do better.
- The Heart of the Matter Chapter One
What You Don’t See;
If it’s not seen, it’s not spoken of.
If it’s not spoken of it’s not an issue.
If it’s not an issue there’s not a problem.
If it’s not a problem it needs no solution.
Generational child abuse is a problem festering in America for decades. It is having a profound impact on taxes, public schools, public health and public safety.
Hundreds perhaps thousands of communities live with too many felons, teen and preteen moms without parenting skills and very few coping skills.
Abusive moms have mental health and drug problems, violent boyfriends, no understanding of or access to prenatal care or the basics for raising a child. All my CASA guardian ad Litem moms came from their own abusive home.
I call these moms, dads, and children “my” moms, dads and children because I came to know them and work with them in their pain and dysfunction for many years in the child protection system and feel that they have become part of my larger family – my social network.
Traumatized children can’t call their Senators and they have no voice in their homes or the media. We only read about them when they die a terrible media worthy death.
My abused children don’t even know that what’s happening to them is wrong – and who would they tell if they did know?
What happens in the home is the only reality a child knows until entering school.
My home is my normal and it must be how other children live too – until the mask is removed and the severe truth of abnormal is discovered to the horror of the abused child.
My worst guardian ad Litem cases were children that did not enter school or other public space until they were six or seven years old. By then they had been tortured for years and had very little interaction outside the home.
State Ward kids often told me they were freaks.
Not all fifty of them but too many. Several of my CASA GAL kids had “I wish you’d never been born” screamed at them by their mom in an alcohol or drugged fueled crazy.
Too many of my kids hated themselves – all of them felt the damage done to them every day all day like an anchor.
My kids were deliberately burned, beaten severely and repeatedly and most of all, sexually abused for years. Children don’t get into child protective services unless the abuse is severe and sustained.
The World Health Organization’s definition of torture is
“Extended Exposure to Violence and Deprivation”.
Half of my caseload kids were sexually abused; one two-year old, 3 three and four-year old’s and the rest were under ten when first raped by a caregiver.
The oldest child in multiple child households reported to child protection is abused for four years.
How do you unteach sexual behavior (or drug use, violence or stealing) to a seven-year old that’s been stealing, violent or sexually active for four years?
It is often disastrous to place badly damaged siblings together in foster or adoptive homes because when the are together, they practice learned behaviors that are very hard to change in the best of circumstances. Many foster families are horrified to discover their biological children seduced by sexualized or violent/criminal foster children.
Think about it – what would you do if removed by social services from the only home you had ever known and then told you could not live in your new home with your brothers and sisters?
This is a tiny snapshot of what child abuse is and why we don’t see it until it visits us.
What we do see, is growing chaos and violence all around us, school failure and neighborhoods becoming unlivable because of the horrendous mental health issues trauma inflicts on children living in toxic homes.
Children suffering from abuse suffer from very real brain change and damage that our culture makes much worse with our history of and reliance on a punishment model that doubles down on inflicting more pain on damaged people.
The good news is that the medical community’s 30 + years of research have developed working models that will heal these children and eventually repair the damaged schools, neighborhoods and children that live there (ACEs chapter 2).
In the chapters to come, we will demonstrate the good and bad practices of states and communities
& report on news you do not see and why you do not see it.
This book strives to make clear what happens physically, emotionally and biologically
to a traumatized child and why they behave as they do.
It also explains what has to happen for that child to lead a normal life.
If you knew these things, you could be helpful to the at-risk children in your community.
You will understand the need for crisis nurseries, subsidized day care, prenatal care for young moms,
and the impact punishment, Prozac, poverty and homelessness are having on children,
schools, public health & safety & your taxes.
And of course, join the KARA team for FREE weekly updates and the next chapter of
Invisible Children Book II
America’s Public Health Crisis
(why you should care)