This year, Band Back Together is highlighting other sites around the Internet that are Doing Good. You know our beginnings. Now it’s time to see theirs.
I am so excited to introduce y'all to Tatiana K. Matthews, author of Fred The Fox Shouts "NO!". Tatiana is a neighbor of mine and the book she has published is one of the first (and best) of its kind. If you have children, I urge you to look into getting a copy of her book to add to your library.
The statistics tied to child sexual abuse are enough to make me want to crawl into a ball and stay there while my kid lives in a bubble. But that's not realistic. We must give our children tools to be empowered to say "NO!"
Welcome to The Band!
In the spring of 2008, I attended a continuing education conference that focused on sexual abuse prevention. I had been trained to treat traumas many years before, so victims of sexual abuse were no strangers to my practice and I had attended other conferences of this nature.
The difference between this event and the others was the birth of my second child and only girl just a few months before. It was not that I hadn't thought about and discussed this topic with my son, but I, like many others, had fooled myself in to believing that he was some how much safer than a girl would be.
Even with all of my experience in the industry at that time, I am much more educated today about the truths of sexual abuse.
In researching tools for parents that promoted sexual abuse prevention, I was unable to identify one that focused on the real threat, people that children knew and trusted.
If I could not find a reliable resource for myself, as a therapist and as a parent, then I would create one.
I saw the havoc that sexual abuse created in the lives of victims. From depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse, self-mutilation, eating disorders, bad relationships and many other self-sabotaging behaviors, we had to protect our children now!
It was within a few weeks that I penned Fred the Fox Shouts “No!” but took several months to identify an illustrator. Even then it did not work out.
My dear friend Allison Fears and I were talking one night about my struggles to identify someone to do the drawings for the book. She grabbed a scrap of paper and there before my eyes, the self-proclaimed “doodler” sketched a fox. I knew it was Fred when I saw him and I started to cry.
It took almost two more years for our book to be complete. Since Fred the Fox Shouts “No!” has been on the market, we have provided many community outreach sessions.
From discussing the book, how you talk to your kids about abuse prevention, the startling statistics, resources for parents and prevention education, it has permeated the last six months of our lives.
The book is great for children of all ages. You can start reading it to them as early you can and continue through elementary years. The book is interactive - you get to yell "NO!" - and engaging. Different situations are discussed and the child can interact by telling you what he or she would do in certain situations. (ed note: My 7 year old loves the book because he gets to scream at bedtime!)
At every event we attend and in my own practice, survivors of sexual abuse come and share their story.
The book has become as much about those survivors as the children we are trying to protect.
We want them to know they have been heard and that our prevention crusade is in their honor.
A portion of the sales, over $1,000 so far, is donated to charitable organizations that assist in prevention.
To learn more about Fred The Fox Shouts "NO!", see Tatiana's site.