Tonight it is a great pleasure to welcome Children’s Author, Ms. Julie Federico M.A. with her award-winning children’s books; aimed at teaching a child knowledge of their body and also safety in their personal life. It’s never too early to begin reading to your children and these vibrantly illustrated books are a terrific resource to engage a child’s imagination, catch their attention, and most importantly empower them with the courage to speak up.
Ms. Federico has written a series of children’s books, ‘Some Parts are not for Sharing’; ‘Anger is OK, Violence is Not’; ‘Students Can Help Keep Schools Safe’;’Bad Guys’ and her newest book ‘Friends Are Wonderful’. Her books are geared for parents & educators to create interaction with the children/students, which then teaches them at very early ages how to speak up when they see harm being committed against another being. Children are a key role and carry more weight when reporting Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Bullying, and other types of violent crimes. When a child reports their young voice demands attention.
On the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, we are all pausing to ask. “Has anything changed in the last year?” Each person you ask will have a different answer to this question based on where they have sat in the last year and watched the racial reckoning that has swept the nation. It has been a year that begs more questions than answers. As I start to think about racial problem-solving I think globally. God has given everyone skills, these skills were just given with no test, form, download, or request worksheet necessary. They were just given to everyone at birth. I challenge everyone today to use the skills that God gave them to combat racism. Some people sing others speak publically, some create art, some are good at changing policy, some are involved in the media, some are educators. It will take everyone in our society to change this problem so many different and all skills are needed. Do not discount your skills, they are supreme and so, so needed. Please step up and use your God-given skill to stop the madness. It is more than time. God gave me the gift to write. I never took any classes or watched any YouTube training videos I have just always wrote. Last summer I was deeply depressed by all of the events and adults’ reactions to the events. I decided to leave the adults alone and begin talking to the kids. I thought this audience was an easier sell to have positive race conversations with. I wrote God Made Me Black Because He is Creative and Blackness is Creative as a way to try and intervene. I finished writing the books in August 2020 it has taken me until today 5/25/21 to get both of the books formatted, illustrated, and in publication. I am proud to say that as of today both books are for sale on my website www.juliefederico.com and Amazon. This is my small part to help end racism. These books are the same book I just took God out of the title in Blackness is Creative. I know not everyone is cozy with God and I also wanted to sell the books to public schools. These books are the tip of the iceberg they are not the end of race relations discussion but the beginning. These books are for children ages 18 months and up. They offer young children an important introduction to the topic of race. As children grow you will need to find other more in-depth books. But my books offer a start and are significant to engaging children in the crucial discussion of race. In the book, I tell children things they can do to help end discrimination. I want to gather children and adults together to combat racism. We are stronger together. Conversations of race can be so divisive, I hope to change this. We need to have the strength of the greater community to make an important change. I know this is something everyone can agree on. Discounts are available to agencies and schools for book orders over ten copies. Please join me as we create new chapters for our country.
Age four is the average age that children are first approached by perpetrators. Most perpetrators are family members or close friends. These perpetrators are not found on the America’s Most Wanted website. The good news is with a little education you can train your children to resist unwanted touch. Perpetrators are typically intimidated by educated children, and will most likely back off. Knowledge is power for your child. Educate your child today on child abuse prevention. Prevention is fun and easy, give it a try. To read Some Parts are NOT for Sharing a child’s first book on body safety visit: http://juliefederico.com/books/some-parts-are-not-for-sharing/ There is no greater gift a parent can give than the gift of safety.
Please protect your children today. This book is also available in Spanish and coloring book format.
I never wanted to be a domestic violence expert. I wanted to cure cancer or buy new tennis shoes for all of the homeless children in the country on the first day of school. I could have gone on Oprah to share my secret knowledge of Science that led to my remarkable cancer cure discovery. Lives would have been saved, families protected. No, instead I got a Ph.D. in domestic violence by default. It snuck up on me; I was in the high school years of my degree before I knew what was happening. I would have never said I was a victim of domestic violence because I was never hit. If I had been mercifully hit one day soon after we were married in June of 1997 my life would have taken a much more positive turn. How can one say getting physically assaulted would make their life go in a positive direction? It is easy. Had I been hit, I would have known without a shadow of a doubt that I was a victim and needed to escape, my family would have rallied around to support me and get me reorganized in an apartment. I would not have had two children with the abuser that sentenced me to an additional 18 years of unwanted abuse. I would have walked freely into a peasant life free of domestic violence. I would have built a life with a man who loved me; I would have had children with a man who loved me. Oh, how I long for this. How I long that I would have been hit, escaped, and rebuilt. No, I was never hit. I have been emotionally abused for now almost 20 years; this is where the expert title comes from, unfortunately. Don’t sign up for this lifestyle; it is hopeless and overwhelming.
If you or some you love is living with emotional abuse please know it is abuse. It is abuse that is much more damaging than physical abuse because it does not present like abuse. There are no physical signs that you are being harmed. It is easy to ignore the signals and dodge the danger of this isolating lifestyle. If you look deeper and you will see all of the signs of domestic violence without the physical aspect. Please seek help, please get to higher ground before it is too late and you have two children with your abuser. 18 years is too long to live in the haunting shadow of court ordered visits with a man who should be put into jail rather than receive custody of his children.
I have written a children’s book for children living with domestic violence. I believe it is a lifeline to them, giving children the correct and age-appropriate information they need to escape. You can buy Anger is OKAY Violence is NOT at www.juliefederico.com or at your favorite bookstore. This book is also available in Spanish. Help is available please do not suffer alone.
I write prevention books that every child needs to have. At time time of year parents are busy buying things for their kids. I challenge you to make these gift count. My books have the potential to save children’s lives, there is no greater gift a parent can give than the gift of safety. I write on school violence prevention, domestic violence prevention and child abuse prevention. I break down each topic in a a way that even the youngest of readers can understand. Knowledge is power won’t you protect your children today?
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Yet, this is a topic that needs much more attention than just one month of press. Since the virus has raged throughout the country reporting of child abuse cases has plummeted. While at the same time actual cases of child abuse are skyrocketing. Mandatory reporters have vanished from children’s lives, there is no one to help except the parent who may be the abuser. Children are in such a desperate state and they are for the most part alone.
I think it is wonderful that April is set aside to bring awareness to this problem. I also have to wonder how it feels to be an abused child in a household filled with control and anger? I imagine it feels awful lonely and as time goes on and no one rescues you the hopelessness that sets in must be suffocating. Abused children I am sure wish every month was Child Abuse Awareness Month. I work to train parents how to keep their kids safe from child abuse. I also teach young children how to speak up and get help when they are in abusive situations. It definitely takes a village to intervene with this problem. I am ending childhood sexual abuse one book at a time but this not fast enough for those living with abuse daily. It is not fast enough for the five children everyday who die from abuse. #fiveisenough. 1,738 children a year die from child abuse. This is staggering to my mind and soul. I feel as if I am holding life preserves with my landmark body safety book Some Parts are NOT for Sharing/Algunas Partes NO Son para Compartir. But just because I hold the life preservers that doesn’t mean I can save everyone. To order your copy of this life saving book visit: www.juliefederico.com
In hopes to educate children, my efforts are working. But five children a day, every day still die usually at the hands of their parents from abuse. More needs to be done. More public service announcements, billboards, commercials, and more prevention education. I am a huge supporter of Erin’s Law, which is moving, across our country state by state. The purpose of the law is to train all school-age children on child abuse prevention. There are some lawmakers who oppose this bill; they are not doing children any favors. But on the positive side,many states have already picked up the law and are making a difference in the lives of children. Education is the best method for preventing child abuse. An ounce of prevention can change a child’s life. Would you like to change a child’s life today? There is no greater gift a parent can give than the gift of safety. If you want to help here are some easy ways:
I write constantly about child abuse and child abuse prevention. I do not know why this is still such a large issue in our culture. I think some of the problem has to do with silence. Child abuse is built on silence. If you as a parent and person in charge of protecting your children say nothing, your child will say nothing to you if they are harmed. Talk to your children about child abuse even if you do not know what to say. By talking to them you are opening the door for them to talk to you if something were to happen to them. It is just this simple. If you need guidance read my landmark children’s book Some Parts are NOT for Sharing to them. www.juliefederico.com This book is appropriate for children as young as six months old. It is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to body safety. As your children age you will need other books my book educates the youngest of readers. You want to be the first one to talk about this subject with your child not the perpetrator. You want your child to learn that you want to hear from them at the first sign of trouble. If you do this your child will be harmed only once, then they will self disclosure. If you do not say anything most children will not say anything if someone violates them. It is your choice as a parent do you want to protect your kids or not? It is really that simple. I would not wait. I would have this conversation today. I think most parents wait too long to have this conversation. They think the time children are starting to do sleepovers at friends is a good time. This is too late. The average age kids are first approached is 4 years old. You only have two years they are verbal and two years they are not verbal. My 18 month old daughter understood my book Some Parts are NOT for Sharing. She was not a gifted child, just a regular kid. I tell you this to encourage you to speak to really young children about this. Here is a sample script, “Hey Luke, I was reading an article in the newspaper today about body safety. I have talked to you about a lot of things. I have never spoken about body safety. Body safety means that your body is your own. If someone touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or upsets you I want to know as soon as possible. You will not be in trouble, I want to hear this information. I want you to stay safe and live freely. I found this great book that describes more of what I am saying.” Read Some Parts are NOT for Sharing. Ask if they have questions, ask if anyone has ever touched them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. Say that you want to know if anyone does this no matter who they are. Most kids are harmed by family members so just prepare yourself. 9 times out of 10 your child will not be molested in a Walmart but are much more at risk at a family reunion. Don’t freak out, just be aware. Awareness is your friend not your enemy. The media over publicizes children who are harmed in public places. Very few people report their Uncle to the news so these stories are suppressed but these stories of family members harming kids is much, much more common. I worked as a middle school counselor for over 15 years and I heard many stories of abuse. Not one of them happened in a public place, they all happened in their own homes with their own families. I am trying to raise people’s awareness on this topic and get people talking. Silence is your enemy, silence will harm your child, silence will not protect your child. What can be done to prevent child abuse? Start talking! Start reading! Start listening!
Parents have many responsibilities when educating their children about life. One of the most important conversations to have with your child is a conversation about body safety. What is body safety you ask? Body safety is teaching your children that their body is their own and if anyone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable you want to know as soon as possible. This one piece of information can save your child from childhood sexual abuse and is key to child sexual abuse prevention. I think parents overthink this topic, get scared and then do not say anything to their children. This is the worst thing a parent can do. The best way to prevent child abuse is to talk about it before it happens not after. The steps to prevent child abuse are easy. Know who is watching your children, educate your child about body safety rules, respond quickly if your child self discloses information that someone has harmed them. Most children are harmed by “loved ones”, contrary to what the media feeds family’s children are harmed by people in their own family. This is one of the downsides to talking about body safety because it can get real difficult real fast because kids intuitively know this is wrong. If you give them permission to self-disclose, they usually will, 9 times out if 10 children are harmed by someone they know. One in 10 are random events outside of the family. 90% of children are raped by someone they know. This means as a parent you probably introduced your child to the person harming them. Anyone is capable of this act. If you have suspensions about a family member it is okay to say to them, “I have spoken to my children about ways to prevent child abuse. In our family child abuse is discussed and we have open dialogue. My children will be reporting to me if someone they know is making them feel uncomfortable.” You don’t have to say this but it goes a long way to aid in child sexual abuse prevention.
When talking to children they will understand this information at a very young age. Most parents wait until their child starts to go to overnight sleepover before they share this information. This is way too late. The average age that most children are first harmed is 4 years old. Children need to be educated as soon as they can grasp this information. The longer you wait to talk about child sexual abuse prevention the more at risk your child is. I do not think 18 months is too young to begin this discussion with your children. You want to be the first person to talk to your child about child abuse prevention not the perpetrator. I say 18 months because my daughter was around 18 months when I got my first proof of my land mark children’s book Some Parts Are NOT for Sharing a child’s first book on body safety. I read it to my daughter awhile later we were carving pumpkins she asked me, “Mom do pumpkins have private parts?” I thought I am really onto something here she gets this! You child can get it to. Parents struggle with how to prevent child abuse; it is really very simple. Read my book to your children, have conversations about people who are in a care giving role in their life, talk about your family relationships and that it is okay to tell if anyone in our family hurts you. Tell them that you will not be angry but that you do want to know as soon as possible. As your child gowns their questions will change; you will know when it is time to include more information that what was in the book. Some Parts are NOT for Sharing is a child abuse prevention book for children 0-9 years old. It is also available in Spanish. To order discount copies visit: www.juliefederico.com Another valuable body safety resource is,I Said No! A Kid-to-kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Privateby Kimberly King. This book is a A Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient. The book provides an easy-to-use system to help children rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe. https://www.kimberlykingbooks.com/
There is no greater gift a parent can give a child than the gift of safety.