40 years of helping children.
40 years of helping children.

This April, for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we made a push to plant pinwheel gardens throughout Oakland County – more than we’ve ever done before.

The pinwheels, spinning and whirling in the breeze outside our building, helps to remind people of the carefree, happy lives all children deserve to have.

They also remind us of the reality children face – that tens of thousands of them kids in our very own community will be sexually or physically abused before they turn 18.

image by WDIV-TV

You may have heard people talking about the Oakland County Child Killer recently; maybe you’ve seen something on TV, or conversation happening on social media. There were two documentaries that just aired that provide a detailed narrative of the crimes: Children of the Snow on Investigation Discovery, and a four part special on Channel 4. They are not easy to watch or listen to.

So many things are still unknown about the case, but there are two things we know for sure: it involved multiple horrific incidents of child abuse and it happened right here in Oakland County.

This year’s speaker for the 2019 Circle of Friends Luncheon is Theresa Flores.

Theresa is a licensed social worker, author, international public speaker, expert on human trafficking, and a survivor, with a story rooted right here in Oakland County.

As a teenager, she was drugged, raped, and trafficked into sexually slavery – a situation she remained in while living at home with her family, completely unaware, in Birmingham.

At the Circle of Friends Luncheon on January 24th, she will share the account of her survival, and of what she’s done since to help rescue other victims of human trafficking.

(photo credit Emma Winowiecki)

Michigan Radio’sBelievedpodcast has cometo a close after 8 riveting and raw episodes (plus an epilogue).Ultimately, LarryNassarwas convicted and will spend the rest of his life behind bars – even though it should havenevertaken this long.

While listening to the podcast,I was shocked by how many people involved in theNassarinvestigationjust flat out didn’t believe the multiple girls who came forward.This doubt is one of the primary reasons why not all perpetrators end up with a fate like Larry’s.

Photo credit: Emma Winowiecki

We talked before about the abuse that happened in Larry Nassar’s basement, but most of Larry’s abuse happened in a doctor’s office…with a parent merely an arm’s reach away.

Most people who hear these facts instantly have two questions:

  1. How could a parent possibly be in the same room while their child is abused?
  2. Why didn’t the kids scream out or tell their parent while the abuse was happening?

We hear questions like this ALL the time at CARE House; things like, “But they were never home alone together, so how could it have happened?” or “I was in the room the whole time, I didn’t see anything.

“Giving Tuesday,” the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, has gained prominence recently as a way for charitable organizations to connect with the community at large, increase their visibility and encourage donations. We thought we’d take the opportunity today to share some easy ways to give back to CARE House:

1. Rite Aid KidCents

Sign up for KidCents and select CARE House as your chosen charity to round up your Rite Aid purchase to the nearest dollar, with the difference being donated to us.

The fourth episode of Michigan Radio’s Believed podcast might be the most chilling one yet. This is because you hear from Larry Nassar himself. His voice comes from a tape of another police interview (not the same one we talked about before) that ended just like the last one: with Larry walking out the door, a free man.

After all the media coverage of the Nassar case, it’s difficult to imagine him as anything but a serial child abuser.

Last week, Brittany wrote about the third episode of Michigan Radio’s podcast “Believed,” and today you’ll be able to see her analysis of episode four – but before her new post goes up, I wanted to share some additional thoughts on “The Basement.”

Specifically, I’ve been dwelling on the moment when Kyle’s parents, who felt hesitant about reporting her allegations to the police, took her to see a child psychologist. The psychologist’s office was in his home, and Kyle’s memory is of the brown interiors and the tea the man sipped.

In episode 3 of Michigan Radio’sBelieved podcast, you hear from another one of Larry Nassar’s victims: a woman named Kyle. She was abused by Larry when she was a young girl… for 6 years.

Kyle was never a gymnast though, so her abuse didn’t happen in a doctor’s office.

It happened in a basement. Larry Nassar’s basement.

While Kyle’s parents cooked dinner with Larry’s wife upstairs.

Kyle didn’t tell anyone about what Larry was doing at first, because she didn’t know she had something to tell.