Beyond The Darkness Initiative: Author Susan Smith's Battle to Bring Awareness to Child Abuse
Author of Beyond the Darkness: Suffering in Silence, Susan Smith has been on a journey of redemption, making it her mission to be the help the many children that are suffering in a way that she once suffered. Child abuse is a hidden tragedy for the most part, and out of all of the industrialized nations, the United States is one of the worst places with staggering statistics. Susan Smith suffered incest, sexual abuse, mental and physical abuse, alcohol and drug related abuse, and the feeling of abandonment at the hands of the few people that children are supposed to trust, her immediate family. Susan is now sharing her story in her newly released book, through a fictional character that is portraying all of Susan's real life sadness. With her new book and website that is dedicated to bringing awareness to the harsh realities that many children must live through undetected, Susan hopes to eventually raise the attention of everyone who normally wouldn't pay any.
“Not being able to "tell" what was happening to me. I had to hold it all in. And it makes you angry, bitter and cold on the inside,” Susan admits that for a long time she did not want to talk about nor fully come to terms with the realities of her hardships, or the fact that there may be thousands of children facing the same situations. The situations consisting of child abuse is often misrepresented because it is often undetected or even reported at all; many experts all agree that actual incidents far outweigh the number of reported incidents. When people are given the impression that it is not happening, or it is out of their hands, many of these issues go unreported. “One in five girls and one in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse? Did you know that every year, based on the analysis of reports provided by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), the data reveals that every year for the last 9 years over 11,000 children were abused, often ranging more in the vicinity of 13,000 children? 3.9% of those cases were a result of sexual abuse,” .
Susan's mission with this book and the website is to bring light to this issue, and she has created the “Beyond the Darkness Initiative,” which offers various programs that incorporates different performing arts and other mind consuming yet soothing outlets that will relieve a child's mind and emotions off the inconceivable tragic experiences these children may have suffered through due to the ones they should be looking to before anyone else, their own family. Every situation will be taken into consideration greatly and handled with great care. It is Beyond the Darkness' objective to reach out to each and every child that is in great need of protection. Susan hopes to raise awareness in Iowa first, and eventually reach out to other states in the USA.