Book Review:"This Bird Flew Away" by Hubber Lynda M. Martin
A first reaction to child abuse and child sex trafficking in North America is often "Wow! - It happens in Canada, too?" and "What kind of person does this?" What kind of person, indeed...
What leads a person to pick up a tiny young bird, break its wings, and leave it on the ice to die? What damaged species tortures, exploits, and kills the offspring of its own kind and the 'more the merrier'? Adults that abuse children are horrid creatures - severely off balance, abused in childhood, or having all the signs of being possessed. Before the law pursued child abusers in my state, I saw adults physically abuse children in public and laugh about it. That cannot happen now, but does so regularly behind the sanctity of the home. When children enter midddle school, the law largely steps back unless the parents are trafficking the children for sex, because the caseload of abuse cases involving K-5 is already too heavy.
Audio: The Bread of Affliction
In the 1990s, a major cause of death among "infant to 5-years" in America was murder. In school districts in our county during those years, the major issue reported by interviewed parents and teachers in schools from daycare to grade 12 was violence. Toledo OH, although additional legal efforts have been directed toward the problem, is the gateway city for distributing children across North America for the sex trade (see link below). This includes Canada, but Canada already suffered child abuse and exploitation. Lynda Martin draws inspiration from years of caseload and personal experiences in abusive treatment to bring us This Bird Flew Away.
This Bird Flew Away
by Lynda M. Martin
Black Rose Writing: 314 Pages
"A Journey from Neglect, Betrayal and Abuse to a Life Dedicated to Helping Others"
Child Exploitation and Abuse
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Bird On the Wing, Taking Off
The Civil Rights Era brought about more than equal opportunity employment and voter’s rights. It loosened the gag from individuals experiencing physical, psychological, sexual, and other types of abuse. Freedom opened a vault of secrets whose end we cannot yet see -- So many families have “secrets” that are not to be divulged; but the hidden things leaked, flooding into the 1980s. Hospitals began ferreting out abuse in emergency rooms. Safe Houses opened to help victims. Brave individuals in law enforcement and the courts began to intervene.
General awareness has risen sharply, but This Bird Flew Away takes us into the reality of the ERs, the homes, and the secrets of the back-alley sex shops. It also takes us into the plains of Manitoba and Alberta, Idaho and Montana. We see stories of people close to the land and miracles on a rodeo circuit.
Bria, ages 9 – 23, is a composite of personalities filling innumerable case notes in child protective services files. A talented, academically gifted child, she is passed around an extended family and packed across the Canadian-American border too often. Exploited for money as a small child in rodeos and horse shows, locked away in a room daily by a violently abusive aunt, sold at least twice in the child sex trade, Bria survives with the help of an understanding social worker, the courts, and her second cousin and hero Jack.
Bria escapes abuse, but jumps into the fire under the boiling pot of human nature and frailties of her new family, friends, and employers. Each scene in her life is important to understanding the operations and cycles of abuse; and what prices abuse extracts from its targets and from those who truly love them, but cannot help. At every turn, a new relationship creates problems and additional people along the periphery attempt abuse and must be handled. Does it never end? Abuse is not uncommon – it blankets North America. We hope our advocacy and the progress of our involved professionals and support teams thin the blanket further every month.
Master of My Own Life
Mastery of OneSelf
Many abused children and adults come to feel that they are Nothing, as did Bria. They have no Self, no Voice, and no one to help. Many die in abuse. Survivors often need to feel more control over their own lives than do non-abused individuals. This in itself can cause some problems in relationships and work. However, some formerly abused individuals take up careers in which they can directly make a difference in the impact of abuse, as well as help prevent it. Bria the adult is a survivor that helps while she tackles her own problems.
Books such as This Bird Flew Away can increase awareness of the multiple types of abuse to a level we have not yet reached. It can stir more people to advocacy against abuse and for healthier parenting practices.
Hundreds of books appear on store shelves to warn the public and discuss different aspects and targets of abuse. Anyone may be a target, but a talented person that looks or acts “nice” to an abuser is a particularly juicy potential victim. Abuse wastes the talent and lives of its targets until it is stopped.
This Bird Flew Away presents a smooth, engaging style in language that ensures it to become a classic. Gathered from experiences in child services work and seasoned by the author’s personal life, the story is a powerful entry into contemporary historical fiction. While reading it, the first chapters of the book brought to mind such stories as To Kill a Mockingbird.
This book is the first of at least a trilogy of volumes about the life of Bria. After reading this book, you will want to read the others as they appear.
I enthusiastically hope that this series of books becomes a wdiely-respected film series as well.
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