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Two months ago I announced that I was going to set up a Blogroll to be a central location for the different voices in the blogosphere discussing the subject of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. This evening, with the help of a very talented young developer (thanks Matt!) we were able to launch “Child Sexual Abuse Survivors’ Blogroll”

I wanted to make it easy for the reader to find people around the country and around the world who are addressing topics that are important to survivors, their families and their friends. I wanted to create a resource for anyone supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

We populated the new site with a few blogs that I am familiar with, that post regularly. The only way this will work is to have new information appearing on a regular basis. Currently the site is set up to refresh itself and add new content within an hour of a blogger updating their own site. The Blogroll will push the reader to the individual blogs. It is not designed to grab your posts and make appear in their entirety on the new site. I think you should get the page views on your blog for your work.

I would like to put more blogs into the mix.  If you are a blogger on this topic, go to the Contact Page on the new site and send me your information. I will consider all requests for adding appropriate blogs to the feed. There is no fee to add a blog to the blogroll. There is no fee to maintain your blog on the rolls. Once you are in, you are in.  I will ask that if you are included in the feed you create a link on your blog to the site so that we can build readers and contributors.

Go and take a look, tell me what you think and offer any suggestions you may have. I consider this a work in process.

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Here I am frantically typing in the Incheon Airport outside of Seoul, South Korea.  I am waiting for my next flight in about an hour from now.  Next stop is Narita Airport, the international airport that services Tokyo.  My travels will take me through there on the way home to Virginia for Thanksgiving.  My travels begin again in the beginning of December.

I am working a program within the Department of Defense, my employer, that is taking me to the hotspots in the world where American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines are standing guard 24 hours a day so that we can enjoy the benefits of freedom and liberty.  My first two trips have been humbling and eye-opening.   Now, for those of you that never look at the “about me” page of this blog, I am more than the sum of the survivor parts which normally find a release in this blog.  I was an active duty Naval Officer for almost 24 years.  My family sacrificed a great deal for me over the years.  Cross country moves were followed by transoceanic moves and return moves and long deployments.  They also endured my temporary radio silence in the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the Pentagon on 9/11/2001 (the radio silence was due to the system overloading with the events unfolding in New York; Arlington, Virginia and a field in southwestern Pennsylvania).  It took me several hours to tell them that I was OK and that the part of the Pentagon where I was briefing that morning was 100 yards away from the impact location.  My wife and sons also saw me off on a short notice combat assignment in 2003 at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  I had about a week’s warning before reporting to Fort Benning (not the typical Navy processing point) and on to Kuwait in order to meet my team.

This past week I was getting re-acquainted with the sacrifices and challenges that America’s sons and daughters in uniform endure so we can go about our lives in relative peace and quiet.  The kids in Korea (I will call them kids because more of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen I spoke with were about 19 or 20) are ready and able to do what is necessary now.  As the Commanding General of the 2nd Infantry Division told us, they are “ready to fight, tonight”.

Not my usual fare, I know.  Please forgive me.  Instead of worrying about how much time Father Timchak was getting in his sentence or pondering the reasons that organizations like SNAP are focused on changing the church and not making their primary mission  supporting survivors and working legal remedies and legislative changes, I was spending my week with heroes.  It was truly a humbling experience.

I will get back to all that soon enough.  For now, as we are facing down the holidays, I have a request.  If you are traveling and see a young man or woman in the uniform of your country, take a minute to thank them.  No really, just stick your hand out and say “thank you for your service”.  It isn’t hard and believe me, they will appreciate it.  If you have never worn that uniform, you may be surprised by the responsibility placed on those young shoulders in those digitized camouflage uniforms.  America’s greatest treasure is her sons and daughters,  we all need to be reminded of that.

That’s it for now.  I have a plane to catch.

I am writing this from my hotel room in Seoul, South Korea. An email from a regular reader of this blog informed me that Robert Timchak has been sentenced to 72 months in a state penitentiary for possession of child pornography.

The article in the Times Leader that was sent to me was astounding. The people that stood up for Timchak seemingly excused his behavior as  the result of the closing of his parish school. I will have more to say about this when I get home this weekend.

Suffice it to say that while this predator is going to jail, there are more who still enjoy the support of the Diocese of Scranton.  There are more victims out there that do not enjoy the support from their church that Father Timchak received.  That speaks volumes!

We need to push for a change in Pennsylvania law to allow victims to seek justice and force the Diocese to open up and admit that they have supported predator priests. Until then, I recommend parishioners cut off the financial support they provide to the diocese.

More later when I get home to the U.S.

Copyright

This site is copyrighted by my statement.
Michael Baumann


Credit: Michael Baumann at "Off My Knees"

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