When Fear Rules !


She Asked Me to Be Her Pretend Grandpa

by on Dec.27, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, STOPPING ABUSE

My dear young friend who allowed me into her life when she was a homeless kid on the streets at age 11, has now been recently adopted by a great and loving young  family, and she just celebrated her first Christmas with that family.

About two years ago she asked if I could be her pretend grandpa. That was when she was still on the streets, just surviving. I was and am honored. But this Christmas, she is safe and sound, and part of a loving family.

She knows I would buy her anything for Christmas, but she wanted NO gifts. What she asked for was and Adoption Agreement, something I would create,which although not a legal document, would be a more formal testament to our relationship as grandpa and grandchild.

It was one of the most important documents I have ever been a part of creating, and it meant so much to me that she still wants me in that role.

She told me she was framing the agreement and hanging it next to her adoption papers from her new parents.  How awesome ! I am so proud of this young lady, my No. 7 Grand-daughter. What she has overcome is impossible to express effectively, but her tenacity and determination to get off the streets was nothing short of miraculous.


Gene Benedetto, Psychologist


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She was only trying to protect herself !

by on Dec.11, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, STOPPING ABUSE

“She Was Only Protecting Herself From Further Rejection and Pain “


I  was talking to a client who was experiencing excruciating and frequent panic attacks that were causing her to not want to leave her home.

She was a single mom with a job and a great deal of responsibility for two kids. I was initially thinking to myself that she must feel overwhelmed at times raising  kids and working and having all that on her shoulders. But she quickly said, “ I am a strong person, independent, I do not allow myself to become needy of anyone, and I work hard to stay in-control !”

I heard what she said, loud and clear, but something did not click for me as I saw a softer side below what she was “trying” to project. When I probed further, she also told me of a past where she was a people pleaser, never set boundaries which allowed people to take advantage of her. She admitted that  she sought approval and allowed herself to be abused in her first marriage.

Since I am always looking for the emotional conflicts that are the actual triggers for panic attacks, bells went off in my head. So I asked, “What happened to that nice, caring, adapting person who loved people and just wanted to enjoy life ? Do you think you buried her, eliminated her and her needs from your mind ?”

She thought for a moment and said, “ But I cannot allow myself to be vulnerable to people again. I cannot trust people to be there. !”

Therein lies the conflict ! She is still that adapting, caring, sensitive, even approval seeking person, but she has worked so hard to over-correct to protect herself, that she is in pain that she is missing what she always wanted, an intimate  relationship, a healthy, loving companion to share with. Her over-correction was in a real sense denying her most basic needs.

She needed to focus on  being who she really is, BUT, learning to do so in a healthier way. She needed to learn to make better choices, set better boundaries, and deal only with those who “proved they were trustworthy and dependable as well as shared some of the same needs.

One cannot change who they are ! It is not who she was that caused her pain, since she possesses many wonderful qualities. It was that she had to be smarter in the way she lived her life to realize she had the right to be who she was, but also that she could learn to allow in her private space only those who deserved to be her friends or companions.

Adapting personalities, like the caregivers, conformers, peacekeepers and perfectionists are more susceptible to anxiety , especially in the form of panic attacks or obsessive-compulsive behaviors because they do not set boundaries for FEAR of rejection, failure or abandonment. It is very hard to teach a person to care and to feel, to be truly intimate persons, but it is a very do-able task to teach and learn to set boundaries. Learning to say “No” when your gut tells you something is not comfortable or right, even when that habitual, approval seeking voice in your head is telling you to adjust what you think and feel in order to please the other person is a typical dilemma for adapting personalities, and it is a very treatable pattern of behavior that can be changed.

We will talk more about this issue and others in future newsletters and at our On-Line Support Groups on Sunday Nights at OneStepataTime.com

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

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Are You Vulnerable to Abuse ?

by on Dec.05, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

When I was recently in California, I met with a sheriff’s deputy as a first step in working with the Special  Sex Crimes Unit since I am tracking*** some abusive, sociopathic abusers who have been involved with abuse of clients I have worked with. I am working with law enforcement in a number of  states as I am trying to learn, and share  from what I have experienced with victims of abuse, especially Domestic Violence whether it be physical, emotional or sexual in nature.


One of the questions this deputy asked me was , “Why are so many of these young ladies so gullible and vulnerable to this kind of abuse, and why don’t they come forward. We cannot do anything until they come to us and are prepared to press charges.”


My first thought was that this deputy was not receiving enough training in the psychology of abuse, although I would appreciate him being around when I come face to face with one of the abusers I am tracking. But the next thought was that many out there do not  realize that we are especially vulnerable to being manipulated and controlled, and therefore abused by certain  individuals who are often Narcissistic Sociopathic types. Yes, they are often family members or loved ones that we have put trust in. These are people with minimal consciences, who spend a lifetime protecting themselves from their own deeper insecurities and emotional conflicts, fighting off their own  sense of vulnerability by taking on the persona of the ultimately In-Control person. They may seem like Prince Charming as they lull their potential victims into their lair, but they gradually take more and more control or their potential victims.


So who are those of us who are more vulnerable to abusive, controlling and manipulative people of all degrees, not just the sociopathic types ?


We are often more adapting and approval seeking personalities.


We are more often the caregivers, peace-keepers, perfectionists and conformers.


We are often the ones who wish to please beyond what is healthy for ourselves.


We are often the ones who cannot say “No”.


We can be prone to self-doubt and we second-guess ourselves.


When we do make bad choices, as most everyone does in life, we take it more as a sign of failure and fear rejection or embarrassment rather than an experience to learn by.


We care about others, and sometimes stretch TOO far to nurture others as  we want to be NEEDED.


Some of us dream of being rescued more than realize the steps we can take to rescue ourselves.


Some of us believe that if you love someone enough, you can change or alter the rough edges you see in a potential partner. Not a good idea ! People rarely change  such basic natures and patterns of behavior. Doesn’t it feel great to rescue someone else ?


We have a difficult time setting “boundaries” with others due to our excessive need to please. So, we over-commit, take on things we really do not want to do, and not putting enough energy into our own self-esteeming behaviors and efforts.


Our self-esteem is more  dependent on what others want from us or how others respond to us rather than deriving our self esteem from what WE accomplish.


We are often caught off-guard by others and become embarrassed by their comments.


Now, some of these points are actually endearing characteristics of some very good people. Being a sensitive, caring and nurturing person is a good thing, right ? Yes, but there is a very delicate balance between healthy and vulnerable.


I would stress that if you see yourself in any of the above descriptors that you seek counseling to work on a plan to realize greater SELF esteem.  Otherwise, there is a danger that you are or could be a victim of abuse  whether at a subtle or more obvious degree. We will be discussing issues such as this in our on-line Support Group on Sunday evenings at 9 PM, ET at www.OneStepataTime.com . Come join us !!!



***When I mention tracking of abusive persons, I want to assure you that I am not carrying out some vigilante justice. I have formed a group of professionals and am still adding members to that group. These persons  act as consultants to me as I research and study the backgrounds of some of the more abusive people I have come in contact with through my clients.


Each member of The Watch, which is what we have named this professional group of consultants, is given all details of any case I am working on so that they can not only advise me from their experiential background, but also add a measure of protection for me in my efforts to study the Narcissistic Sociopathic Abusers amongst us. When these Abusers make a mistake, and they always do, and  one of their victims IS willing to press charges, the information we have gathered is provided to the appropriate Law Enforcement entity.


The Watch consists of members of Law Enforcement , Attorneys, Psychiatrists, Therapists, prominent Political figures who can press for anti-abuse legislation, a Nationally known personality who is a strong advocate against Domestic Violence, and private citizens who have demonstrated an awareness and interest in fighting for the rights of individuals where we can find people being easily led and controlled in our society. The names of The Watch members are not divulged, but let me say they have proven an invaluable source of guidance.

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Helping Karma Along !

by on Nov.18, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, STOPPING ABUSE

I know I tend to talk a lot about abuse, especially domestic violence and more specifically physical and sexual abuse of minors and young adults who are molested, raped and emotionally manipulated by family members whom they have previously loved and trusted.  It sickens me to the core that such abuse occurs so often and many times never is reported.

Yesterday, I met with law enforcement and the sexual crimes unit of yet another state to fill them in on one such child/adolescent predator whom I have followed for three years. This man is a narcissistic sociopath who literally got away with murder. However, I have had to be patient, gathering all my data and documentation since all the witnesses have been eliminated or are too emotionally distraught to testify against him. I have letters, instant messages, chat transcripts and a dairy that all but explode with the pain that his youngest victim,his daughter, experienced and I was helpless to stop because  her  fears silenced her. I will say it was more than her fears,  as she also prayed and held on to a hope that her “daddy” would return someday as the doting although stern father he once was.

So I wait, along with my team of experts, for this man to make just one mistake, and then once he does and pops up on the radar in any of the states I have visited, law enforcement and anti abuse groups in those states will be ready to pounce on him. This is what I call, “helping karma along”.

Having a trusted team or support people behind you is especially a critical need when dealing with a parent or other family member who has become an abuser. It is never a good idea to try to go up against and abusive person by yourself. The victim must be willing to share her story with a counselor, and allow the proper authorities to become involved. Of course, that is a most difficult part of the game plan. A child or adolescent most likely will fear that no one will believe her story of being abused. And it certainly happens that even some parents will not accept such a story from a minor, often times because they do not WANT to believe it.

However, I follow the same advice in that once I am involved with a child or adolescent, or even a young adult who has been sexually, physically or emotionally abused, I bring in the proper authorities in order to protect that child, but also to protect myself.

In the case of the young lady that prompted this article, she was nineteen and refused to expose her father. I finally was able toconvince her to seek face to face therapy, but even then, her sociopathic and abusive father was able to cause the therapists to back off, remove themselves from the case, or in one instance cause the counselor to be fired. NO ONE wanted to be associated with this guy, he was that dark and manipulative.

So, realizing I would also be a target for this man’s sick and limitless manipulation guided by a serious lack of conscience, I formed my own team of experts that I keep abreast of the case I am working on as well as give them copies of my documentation.

We CAN deal with and expose abusive people if we do it the right way !

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist


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Avoiding the Narcissistic Personality Types

by on Sep.04, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

As much as I preach about not avoiding people or difficult situations, you must also know when to set boundaries with certain difficult people instead of allowing them to continually waste your mental and emotional energy on trying to compromise with them.

Narcissistic personalities are a true example of people you need to set careful boundaries with, but of course, you must first recognize them. There are many of these manipulative and self-centered people in our lives, unless we are living in a cave somewhere in the wilderness.

These are the ones that always blame and never accept responsibility for the emotional fires they start. They tend to talk down to others, and then may blame their victim for being stand-offish, not responsive or ignoring their requests. They tend to make their victims feel guilty for expressing anger, when that anger is a direct result of the emotional turmoil they created in the first place.

The narcissistic personality in an office setting can be quite damaging. This is the personality that can create havoc in a previously peaceful setting, and then walk away saying, ” What’s wrong with you people!”

The narcissistic  personality may have a very thin layer of conscience, and although they often proclaim to be so wonderfully empathetic and caring, behind the scenes, it is all about what is in it for them. The fact is,  this personality type does not care, does not “get it”, and will only respond to consequences, if at all. Don’t expect that you will make peace with them and they will have an epiphany that will change how they think, feel and how they behave towards others.

Chances are, that if you do find you are dealing with a narcissistic type, your best bet is to create as much space between you and that person as you can.  Do not allow yourself to be dependent on or vulnerable to them, because you are most often just an object to them, a means to an end.

It does not make you weak to not be able to deal with such a personality as this, as the strength is in realizing whom you are dealing with and not getting sucked into their web. If you have been duped by a narcissistic personality, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just take steps to separate from them, and disconnect as quickly as you can. Let KARMA take over, because the narcissistic personality will eventually screw up big time. They cannot help but to sink deeper into the hole they have dug for themselves. They become so full of themselves that they feel untouchable….but it is just a matter  of time.


Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

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Why Do Fairy Tales Always Have Bad Guys?

by on Sep.03, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

Why Do Fairy Tales Usually have Bad Guys ?

I was talking to my very special young friend about doing some writing and using her imagination more. She has a wonderful imagination, but lately, she has let it sit on the shelf while dealing with many changes she has been going through.

If you have followed past newsletters and my blog at www.RuledByFear.com , then you are probably aware that this young lady is my adopted and very very special grandchild who found me when she was a homeless child surviving on the streets by herself.

Besides surviving the challenges and abuse of the streets, she has had to face more changes and significant emotional challenges, as well as physical health issues as she adjusted to life with a wonderful family who took her in.

It sounds like a fairy tale when you think of a child, abandoned and on her own, who struggled, survived, and found her way to me and then ultimately to this great family who offered her love and a home. But that fairy tale was full of bad guys. people who used and abused her.

So when I was talking to her recently about some sleep problems she was having as she was learning to adjust to wearing a C-pap {oxygen emitting tubes in her nose at night},I mentioned that she should again be thinking of writing and using her imagination as she had done before, as a way to get her mind off her health issues and the tubes in her nostrils. We started talking about the fairy tales we liked and I mentioned that I had just watched “Tangled” for the second time. She asked me, “ Why do all fairy tales seem to have bad guys in them, where the good guys have to fight and struggle? “

Well, bad guys are real. They do exist in most of our lives. So even most movies show the struggle between good and evil, don’t they ?

Fairy tales often make the bad guys look pretty gruesome, just like with the old cowboy shows I watched as a kid where the bad guys wore black hats and looked like they never had seen a razor or a bathtub.

The reality is, bad guys often are not so obvious. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be clean-cut and be dressed in all-white. They can be male or female, they can even be young and appear innocent. There are all degrees of bad guys too. There are people who are just greedy, selfish and don’t fully realize how they hurt other people, while others are deeply focused on controlling and manipulating other people to get what they want. They can be pretty smart, although they are usually very insecure people down deep in their souls. Yes, they have souls, but their spirits have often been infected by their own traumas and pains.

So, fairy tales have bad guys because we want very much to see good triumph over evil. We want to have hope that if we persevere, we can win over the evil witch, or the Dark Side. When the dark Side does win in a Star Wars, you know there will be a sequel. It is almost demanded by society that we have the Jedi Nights triumph in the end.

In real life, it is often that we avoid challenging the dark side. This has a powerful effect on our self-esteem, as we find ourselves being angry with ourselves for allowing people to use and abuse us.

Just recently I was talking to a really great young teenager who was referred to me because of panic attacks and outbursts of anger. What he has discovered is that he is a truly nice guy, and feels great inner conflict when he allows his need for approval to, in turn, allow people to use him. He is realizing that his anger is with them, but mostly with himself for letting it happen. After a while, he came to believe there was something wrong with him, that maybe God was upset with him or that he was being punished. It is his anger with himself that was causing the inner conflict that was causing his panic attacks and intrusive thoughts, and then led to him punching holes into walls.

He is now learning to no longer let bad people in his life. He is focusing on all the good in him, an finding people who are more like him.

So, my dear grand-daughter, there are bad guys, but we can learn to see them for whom they are and protect ourselves from them. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to grow smarter every day while learning to do very great things with your life. Then, your self- esteem, the way you look at yourself will grow stronger and more positive, and will cause you to NOT need people who are not good guys.


Aka, Grandpa

Gene Benedetto , Psychologist

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When Men Abuse Children Part 2

by on Jul.25, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

When Men Abuse Children

There are many problems in our world, so the issue of children being sexually abused by adult men, or women, tends to get lost in the heaps of bad economic news, the instances of terrorism, the efforts to survive and support our families and all the other life struggles that bewilder us every day. We can be so overwhelmed by it all, that we sort of go NUMB.

When you work with children who have been abused, there is no way to go numb. When you see how much sexual abuse effects their entire lives, the way the child perceives herself, you cannot help but be both angered at the abusers and terribly disappointed by the fact that maybe 76,000 children are victims of sexual abuse every year.

My most recent and painful experience has been with a child who has just lately shown signs of recovering a bit of her fragile self-esteem after experiencing the very dark side of some very sick men. Somehow, she was truly beginning to believe that there were some good people out there, maybe even a few that she could trust.

Then one day, while innocently riding her bike, the company man who was hired to care for the lawn, and whom this child saw talking in friendly ways to her mom and dad, lured this child into a distant corner of the property, and then sexually abused her, threatened her in ways that would scare any one of us, totally catching her off guard because she dared to trust this man for a few moments.

Sexual abusers are some of the greatest con artists in the world. Their sickness allows them to cross all boundaries, to say things that paralyze their young victims.
“ If you tell anyone, I will come back and steal you and your baby sister and cut you both into little pieces just like that little boy on the news the other day.”

The one ray of light is that this child told me what had happened, and with much fear in her heart, she and I both told her dad who took swift action which meant the man was caught, and did admit to what he had done. Would you believe, the company he works for never did a background check ?

Although the damage is done and this child is suffering yet again with an overwhelming fear, a deep level of embarrassment, and worst of all, a feeling that SHE has failed, she has disappointed, she is a bad girl for somehow allowing this to happen, IF we can help her see how brave she was to tell me, if we can help her see that she was a victim and is truly in no way responsible for what happened , we have a chance to help her survive and grow stronger.

The only chance we have to stop sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse is if the abused party can expose the abuser. Do you know how hard that is for a vast number of abused girls, or boys for that matter ?
Be aware that abusers are all around us. Most likely, someone in your office, one of your relatives, maybe one of your friends has the potential and lacks the self control that has or will cause them to abuse a child. Uncomfortable, isn’t it ?

Don’t bury your head in the sand. This could be YOUR child or grand child, now or in the future.

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Shame !

by on Jun.25, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

I Felt So Much Shame !

I was getting my hair cut today, same place as usual, but by a young lady that I had not seen there for a while. I had heard that she taken a leave of absence, but had just recently returned. I had also heard that she had been struggling in an abusive marriage. By the way, she knew I was a therapist and always respected boundaries by not asking personal questions when I was in her chair.

This time, I could sense a difference. She was being nice enough, attentive and friendly, but in between what seemed to be forced smiles, I could see the tension in her face and lips quivering. When I asked her how things were going, I could see a tear form and drop to her cheek. I told her I wanted to hear what was going on, because obviously she was upset. She asked if I was sure it was OK, still respecting boundaries, but she obviously was in emotional pain.

She started by expressing how she had often wanted to talk to me, but felt it was inappropriate. But then, as tears began to flow, she told me of the shame she felt as she was exiting from a horrible, physically and emotionally abusive marriage. “ I was afraid no one would believe me as to how abusive he was. He was so good at making himself look good to others, but he was a monster with me and our son.

She talked of feeling fear, but also of feeling shame for making the choice she had to marry him as there were signs early in there dating that he was abusive. She thought she could change him if he could only get the love he said he never had earlier in his life. She felt she could be the difference in his life, and then, by getting pregnant, she felt trapped.

She talked about his manipulative games. “He would physically and sexually abuse me and then say things to make me feel like no one else would want me, like I was defective goods. He would force me to have anal sex that was disgusting to me, but I was terrified to say no. The more he did to me, the more he forced me to do things, the weaker I seemed to get.”

“I am ashamed for letting this happen to me and my life. I am ashamed that it took so long for me to take my son and leave. “

Sometimes she felt sorry for him, some times she just hated him. But she felt paralyzed and he had brainwashed her to thing that there was no better life out there for her.

Finally, she said, even though she could not talk to me directly, she came under an assumed name to my web site and the Chat Room, listened more than talked, but realized that others were going through the same time. She sought support from other Chat Sites offered at Google and Yahoo, and gained a little strength, enough to share with a few friends, including an old girlfriend whose husband was a police detective. Gradually, she realized she had a support system and no one in that group of people felt she was worthless or weak. They all understood and expressed only anger at her husband’s behavior and this all gave her energy to talk to her local police and a attorney.

I praised her for her courage. I praised her for seeking out assistance and not attempting to do this by herself. I praised her for being a genuinely good person who had just been temporarily paralyzed by an abusive man, who if not stopped, would go on to abuse another young lady, or a child.

She was a hero, as what she had finally done and shared with me, most likely did save another woman from the same fate. But now it was done. She found support by sharing her plight and others came to her rescue.

She smiled. She just needed to talk about it and get some reassurance. And she really did a great job on my hair too


Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

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Learning to Trust

by on Jun.06, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, STOPPING ABUSE

Over the past year, I have had the pleasure to meet, to teach, and have my own life enlightened and brightened by a young child wise beyond her years, now thirteen.

She has had a hard life, filled with abuse and struggle beyond anything my grandchildren would ever experience, and doubtful they could endure. She has been hurt in some of the worst ways, as she faced the dark side of people with whom you and I might entrust our own children. Abused and abandoned by her mother, looked down upon by people because she was homeless, and surviving on her own in Gotham City.

All this child ever wanted was to be loved, wanted, heard and cared for as she experienced what are suppose to be some of the best years of her life. What she experienced was pain and fear at the hands of what we call a civilized society. What she did was survive !

Well, she is moving on. She is with a wonderful family now that plans to adopt her. I could not have hand picked a better and more loving family as she restarts her life. But now there are new struggles. First she must learn to trust and that is a tall order for someone who has been a victim of the dark side. Then she must open up her heart to allow herself to be loved, and of course, take the supreme risk of loving other human beings. Is it better to not love and trust and then not suffer the pain or rejection that comes when people disappoint ?

I was so privileged and feel blessed that she chose to share her life and struggles with me, and that I could be a part of her rising out of the ashes.

This is only the beginning. We have never met. We communicate via Instant Messages, E-mails and I-Chat. So I am the man in the box. This gives her the safety and advantage of being able to tell me anything and everything of what she has endured, as well as her hopes and dreams. Since I do not judge, look at her harshly, correct her or tell her what to do, she feels free to express her fears and be overwhelmingly honest. She always knew that if she was uncomfortable in any way with our talks, she could click me off at will. If I said anything hurtful, she was free to silence my voice. So now we have built trust from the ground up.

This has made our friendship a deep and rewarding one in many ways. When she became very ill due to all the abuse she suffered, I was asked to be her Godfather, via computer. I was again very happy she chose the man in the box for this role at such a potentially dire time.

Later, has her health improved, she asked if she could pretend I was her grandfather. I most willingly accepted and have now included her as my seventh grandchild.

Although I am still the grandpa in the box, her trust is growing and we are talking about meeting soon. Her trust in her new family is also growing as she desensitizes to the idea that there are people who can love without dark agendas. But she feels she must be guarded, because what if she says or does the wrong thing, what if they decide she is not a keeper.

Well, we know she is a keeper. Now it is up to her to take even more risks to test out the trust even further, or avoid deeper Interaction so as to protect herself. My bet is that she will choose loving and being loved.

Gene Benedetto, Psychologist

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A Victory Over Abuse

by on Jun.03, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

What a day ! All in one day I had both the pleasure of hearing that one respected member of society was found guilty of sexually abusing one of the children I have been working after almost a year of eluding punishment, while being reminded of my frustration of another case where a father who molested his own child repeatedly, still roams free because his victim feared exposing him.
Then i remind myself that the noose is tightening around this father as my professional team has gathered information and is patiently preparing the case against this sociopath.

Over the years, all these experiences with children and young adults being abused by family members or trusted members of society has frustrated me, has decreased my tolerance for any form of abuse, but at the same time has taught me patience in finding ways to protect potential victims and exposing perpetrators.

Victims of abuse are Ruled By Fear {www.RuledByFear.com}, and it is a major task to help them free themselves of that fear, to expose their abusers. Often, a victim of abuse, whether physical, sexual or emotional, feels such rage and anger inside that she feels out of control emotionally, and she feels dirty, weak, and stained or scarred to the point that she then feels too weak to face the abuser. The perpetrators often tell their young victims that no one will believe them since the abuser is often an adult in good standing in the community.

On the more subtle side, yet just as devastating, I am aware of parents who are so obsessed with their own needs for fame and popularity, that they push their children to perform to the point of exhaustion, anger and possible health issues. This is emotional abuse, and it can certainly be every bit as toxic to the victim as sexual and physical abuse. I have seen teens so full of rage and emotional conflict due to emotional abuse at the hands of a father or mother, that equal to the need to stop the abuse is the need to quell the anger before the teen strikes out and hurts himself or herself, or the parent.

The bottom line ! Abuse shows itself all around us in many ways. Be alert and aware. Report abuse or suspected abuse, even anonymously to your police department. If you avoid this responsibility, you then run the serious risk of feeling the guilt and pain for knowing something and avoiding making a report.

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