the Walk-Silentlambs in Washington
are happy announce that the March in Washington D. C. was a tremendous
success. It was a moment that will be remembered for years to
come in that it marks a positive direction in reaching out and
standing up with other abuse survivors to speak out on abuse.
drove there by car and it is about a thirteen hour drive so it
makes for a long trip. We are happy to see that supporters for
silentlambs marched with us from four different states. There
were close to one thousand that participated in the “Race to Stop
the Silence.” The event was well planned and everything went smoothly
with no hang-ups or problems. The Hotel Harrington was a very
nice place to stay with easy access to the race as well as the
key tourist areas of downtown Washington .
arrived late on Wednesday evening and checked into our hotel.
The weather was very nice with a warming trend toward the weekend.
So it looked like the weather was going to cooperate as well.
Since the first of the year locals said it had rained every weekend
or was very cold so they hoped this would be a welcome change.
started with planning for the press conference at the National
Press Club. We arrived to meet Emily Smauelson a therapist and
author of the book “Soaring Above The Ashes.” The book features
pictures and interviews with abuse survivors that were thriving
beyond childhood sexual abuse. We met Pamel a Pine the coordinator
of the race along with abuse survivors that were there to speak
to press. As the afternoon progressed different ones dropped by
to look at the pictures, you can see photos of the press conference
key people that dropped by were Scott Berkowitz and Monica Taylor
from RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) They operate
one of the largest hotline and education organizations in the
USA. We were able to leave a silentlambs video and make contact
for further discussion on institutional abuse awareness. We hope
something important develops from this.
the results from the press conference were successful and we were
happy to be part of it as well as meet the many people that dropped
was a rest day to get ready for the march so we did a little sight
seeing. The Smithsonian Institute was about two blocks from the
hotel so we were able to spend most of the day touring the exhibits.
stared early with the program starting at around 7:30 am at Freedom
Square on Pennsylvania Avenue . The race started at 9 am sharp
so everyone was arriving during this time frame. The stage program
started around 8 am with a young woman from Canada that is an
actress working with a local school. There was a reenactment of
young people discussing abuse and telling about speaking out.
It was very moving as they did an excellent job with the presentation.
Then followed announcements about registrations and getting ready
for the race. A large speaker system was set up to help with the
speakers and after which music was played for all to hear. To
see pictures of the event click here,
arrived everyone lined up at the starting line it was a picture
Capitol is in the foreground and Pennsylvania Avenue was closed
for the morning, we had it all to ourselves.
had the largest banner there and many people stopped by to inquire
and ask who we were. The best part was when CNN camera crew came
by to do a long slow take of the banner with silentlambs supporters
standing by. We were happy to find out later that CNN aired a
news report later that evening and we are in the process of getting
a copy. We think we had the best “optics” with the large picture
of “tiny” doing his job once again. Who could resist a picture
weather was beautiful in the mid 70’s with a light breeze. It
was a perfect day for a march! The road was clearly marked with
traffic guards at every intersection to guide everyone along.
As we walked everyone was clapping or saying words of support
and encouragement. It was a very positive and happy experience
for all that participated. We marched right in front of the Capitol,
it was hard to explain but it seemed to be a validation of the
hard work and effort that has been spent trying to help others
speak out on abuse. Here we were walking in front of the top governmental
office in this country standing up for all the silent lambs.
the halfway point there was water for anyone needing it and more
cheers and encouragement from on lookers. Finally we could see
the finish line ahead in the distance,
was a big P A announcement about silentlambs completing the race
and a big round of applause as we crossed the finish line. It
was a happy moment and one that we wish many more could have shared.
there was fresh water and fruit for all that wanted or needed
some. We sat around and talked while they got ready for the concluding
program. Announcements were made about who finished the race first
and prizes given. All children that participated were given a
gift to remember it by. Everyone that participated got an official
“Race to Stop the Silence” T-shirt. Next on the progra m c ame
the moving stories of two abuse survivors that were doing well.
Michele the first speaker has worked for several years with a
women support center and spoke about how helping others contributed
to her healing. The second speaker a man told about raising his
three children and keeping balance in his life. Pamel a Pine concluded
the program with thanks to several including silentlambs for helping
and supporting the program. The progra m c oncluded with an excellent
college choir singing a selection of songs.
what can we say? Silentlambs was happy to participate and see
so many come together and speak out to stop the silence on child
sexual abuse. It was empowering to see others with such strong
convictions as well as positive healing moving forward and helping
others to find their voice and inward strength. It was a wonderful
and happy occasion with many laughs and smiles from those that
were there. If we were committed to marching on Watchtower in
Brooklyn, New York for abuse survivors, then how much more powerful
to March in Washington D. C., with hundreds of abuse survivors
at the Capitol of our nations government. When we were in Brooklyn
they slammed and locked the doors, turned off the intercom like
cowards when we offered to produce eye witnesses to abuse. While
the Governing Body of Jehovah'sWitnesses hid in fear to keep from
facing abuse survivors; a public statement was made to show how
bible directives are ignored when the abuse survivors are willing
to face their accused on their front door step. What point would
be served to march before cowards? For those reasons there is
little purpose to marching in Brooklyn New York where few will
have a hearing ear.
Washington D. C. March speaks to a far larger audience and tells
the entire world that cowardly men that ignore abuse survivors
should be identified and recognized for all to see. The banner
that was walked down Pennsylvania Avenue was viewed by thousands
and will give those that wish a place to educate themselves about
small men that hurt children.
was the first international March for child abuse in Washington
D. C. Silentlambs was proud to be part of this history making
event. This is a civil rights movement for children that has begun.
No religion or any person should have the right to suppress the
rights of a child when a crime is committed against them. To walk
with hundreds of people that see the same issue is very empowering.
We hope to make this an annual event in which more and more “silentlambs”
can participate and March together to walk the walk in speaking
out on abuse. Next April we hope to see you there.