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A call for musicians to join the band “Abuse Nation”

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I am looking for musicians who would like to be part of a band called Abuse Nation. These musicians would preferably be abuse victims themselves but people sympathetic to abuse victims would be more than welcome. The songs would be about abuse. That could be a song about verbal or emotional abuse or about sexual abuse or human trafficking. While I write songs myself, I am hoping that the other members of the group will contribute songs, creating a variety of music.

Due to the that fact that it’s unlikely that all of the people interested  in a group like this will live in the same area, I expect this will be a virtual group. If engineering and mixdown is needed a kick-starter will be created to fund that.

The long term goal of this band is to be the symbol for a brand, also called Abuse Nation.  I have found that the majority of the non-abused population are unwilling to discuss abuse, blocking any substantial progress in strengthening laws and helping end abuse. I have settled on the idea of using music due to my feeling that people will listen to music about a controversial subject before they will take time to read a book or watch a movie or television show and they will do this without a lot of conscious thought. Perhaps it’s the fact that music seems to speak to listeners at a deeper level and passes the internal censors without trouble.  I am hoping to put this music on YouTube initially and eventually, have it played on the radio under the “Abuse Nation” brand. In the long run I expect that Abuse Nation will become a musical brand that is accepted by radio and internet listeners. What people become used to, they tend to accept.

The first contribution to this collection of music comes from me and can be found at:

http://www.neildouglasnewton.com/uploads/4/8/7/8/48782169/lamb.mp3

I can be reached at abusenation@gmail.com

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The Railroad is free on Amazon in honor of the fifteenth anniversary of 911!

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The Railroad by Neil Newton is free on Amazon in honor of the fifteenth anniversary of 911 ! A compelling mystery that parallels the author’s personal experiences trapped in the subway as the Twin Towers fell.

The Railroad has received two Golden Bookworms (Highest Honors) from the Readers Review Room site. It has also been nominated in the Romance and Mystery Categories in the Summer Indie Book Awards. Finally it has received eleven five star reviews!

Here is a review  of The Railroad:

By Over the Rainbow on February 21, 2016

This story actually starts out as two, seemingly unrelated, stories, but as it progresses, the two tales are woven together so skillfully you almost forget that they were once separate. First, there are hints about some abductions of women and children that are taking place, but you can’t quite figure out what’s going on. But there’s enough given that you’re immediately hooked from the first page. Then there’s the story of Mike Dobbs, a man who is wrestling with PTSD and the big question of what he wants out of life. And all of this is set against the dramatic backdrop of the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Overall, I have to say I love this book!! Mr. Newton tackles hard issues like child sex abuse, dealing with and healing from trauma, and the consequences of apathy and ignorance. He does an excellent job of highlighting the inadequacies of the justice system when it comes to protecting children from abusive parents. And the suspense he builds without even seeming to try will keep you on the edge of your seat! But even though I would classify this book as a suspenseful thriller, I would also say the writing qualifies as literary in nature. Mr. Newton really explores the human condition and what it feels like when people form unexpected bonds with others. All-in-all, five stars, and I truly hope Mr. Newton writes more stories for others to enjoy! 🙂

 

Get the Kindle version of The Railroad free!

http://amzn.to/1KxdZD6

See the book trailer:

http://bit.ly/1LDfjWX

Please get involved with the 911 memorial effort! We will never forget!

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Protect.org needs your help. And you need Protect.org

This is plea for and an endorsement of Protect.org. This organization is strikingly unique in a number of important ways. While public education about child abuse is, without doubt, valuable and helpful in the fight against this scourge, I believe that new legislation of sentences for child abuse crimes has the best chance of reducing them. Protect.org lobbies Washington legislators to strengthen child abuse laws which have often been without teeth in the past. In essence, Protect.org does what it can to make the consequences of committing a child abuse crime, severe and daunting.

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Reducing child abuse crimes will not just create a new and more pleasing statistic on the books. What child abuse is, is the destruction of a life. If you were to inject an infant with some substance that would guarantee various levels of depression, ptsd, un-realized potential, and a host of other debilitating problems, it would be very much the same for a child turned adult who was the victim of consistent child abuse. It is theft of a life pure and simple.

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Add to that an amazing number of studies that link child abuse to incarceration and recidivism later in life. Child abuse doesn’t only affect the victims and those close to them; it is a serious problem the effects of which cut across all areas of society. The cost of law enforcement, correctional facilities and medical benefits undermines our economy and our society’s financial health.

Consider this: if thousands of children were tortured and killed every year in another country, it would a well-publicized humanitarian crisis. While we, as Americans, might not rally to help foreign children, it would be a subject that would be debated at dinner tables, parties, and even in congress.

Girls are forced to 'service' dozens of men every day

What is bizarre and disturbing is that we can consider the ramifications of a crisis in Mexico and treat a humanitarian crisis involving our neighbors and fellow Americans as though it literally does not exist.

Protect has also started a program that works with veterans to find the sources of child pornography and bring the offenders to justice. They are working to develop unique and cutting edge programs but they need your help. Please go to Protect.org and donate what you can. Once you’ve become familiar with their mission, please use social media to get the message out. It will be worth your time.

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PROTECT.ORG: Protecting those that have no voice

I just read an article in Psychology Today, enumerating the reasons that parents don’t discuss child abuse with their children. Not surprisingly, they are the same reasons that people, in general, don’t want to hear about child abuse. There have been more than enough studies showing it is an under reported crime and far more prevalent than anyone would like to admit.

Not too long ago I had lunch with someone I had worked with years before. When we got around to discussing what I had blogged and written about, the subject of child abuse came up. My lunch companion’s reaction was immediate and strangely fierce: “Oh, how uplifting!”. I was shocked, though this wasn’t the first time I’d experienced this level of anger and uncharacteristic annoyance at the mention of the subject. I stared at my friend for a good long time. What I wanted to say was, “I doubt the children who are abused are any happier about it than you are.” I said nothing because there wasn’t enough time, during a single lunch hour, to even begin to chip away at that type of denial.

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Years ago, before I became concerned about child abuse and its effects, I can remember being “not aware” of child abuse. When I heard about it, my eyes would glaze over and I would “just not be present” in the moment. It was like the conversation was irrelevant and I was waiting for the rain to end so I could get back to my life.

At this point in my life I’ve realized that, for most people, child abuse is like an urban myth: disturbing and not entirely real. They hear about it in fleeting seconds in a report on the news. Or someone mentions it in hushed whispers, speaking about someone they know who has a child that was molested; when the conversation moves on, most people are more comfortable. I have had members of my own family tell me that “that doesn’t happen”. And, like an urban myth, the subject of child abuse is not seen as requiring anyone’s attention or action. People will become annoyed when it’s brought up or they will tell you that the child brought it on themselves, due to their own actions. Some will tell you that it only happens in certain low socio-economic groups. Denial is a powerful thing.

The reality is that child abuse is not an urban myth. Abuse is theft. And what it steals is one or more lives, often in a cycle that passes the curse of trauma from a parent to his or her own child. I will not quote statistics here because they have been put before the American public countless times by NEWS agencys and NGOs that fight child abuse; it is rare that anyone reacts. I will only say that the numbers are staggering. And it takes many forms. Children are literally lost in foster care. We have the relatively new scourge of Trafficking. There are many areas where it exists beyond the nuclear family.

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The theft is egregious, its affects often spanning a lifetime. PTSD, depression, criminal behavior, recidivism are all part of its malign arsenal. Recent studies have shown a close correlation between child abuse and incarceration.

We are all given so many resources: so many years of life in an unknown quantity, so many opportunities to make our dreams a reality, so many chances to form relationships that are important in our lives. Child abuse, physical and sexual, steals these opportunities from victims. For victims of child abuse, the assumptions of trust that act as a foundation to being human are ripped away. The aftermath of child abuse can be even bleaker than the original theft of trust at the hands of abusers. The issue here is the slow, insidious way that the dysfunction of child abuse leeches the sense of purpose out of life. It separates us from our fellow men and shrinks our view of the world until we can only see a few feet in front of us. Every person I’ve known or people I’ve seen interviewed who were victims of abuse always talk about the parts of themselves they have lost. While some people have taken the awful lemons of abuse and made lemonade by helping other victims and telling their own stories, there are many more who suffer in silence, who may never learn to be dancers, musicians, teachers. Whatever dreams they might have normally pursued are barred to them in ways that even they can’t understand. This is theft in its most basic form; it’s a theft that is built into the fabric of someone’s life and it can make loss and failure seem inevitable. For many abuse victims, their problems become a moving target that often defies both understanding and healing.

Is it so hard to understand why some people are so zealous about removing the blight of child abuse from our society? All of us carry fears from our childhood that make us less than we could be. For a victim of child abuse those fears and constraints become constant companions limiting the scope of what they can do. Our prisons are filled with victims of child abuse and medicating the beasts that live within us has become a thriving industry in the form of big pharma.

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What can be done? If you accept that something must be done and that you don’t want to live in a nation where this type of thing is a reality then there are two avenues for you. One is convincing the American public that child abuse is real and affects all of us, financially and morally. The other avenue is the entity that we are forced to use when things get out of control: the law.

As far as convincing Americans that child abuse must be stamped out, after all my experience talking to non-victims about it, I would say not to hold your breath waiting. If this were to be done it would take money and aggressive education campaigns nationwide to make people feel responsible. This is highly unlikely so, we are left with the law.

And here is what I’ve been leading up to. For the first time in history there is a lobbying organization called Protect.org that lobbies our law makers to strengthen child abuse laws. They have made enormous strides in putting teeth into laws that let pedophiles get off with a slap on the hand. Recently they put a program into effect that trains veterans to investigate the growing child pornography industry and bring purveyors of this kind of poison to justice.

Protect.org is the beginning of a long overdue overhaul of our legal system to end a scourge that is the polar opposite of what the United States stands for. Our weakest citizens need your help. Please go to the Protect.org site and donate. Get on their email list and find opportunities to help them in their fight by contacting legislators who need to hear the truth about child abuse.

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If not now, When: Protect.org.

“If not now, when?” These words were uttered by Hillel, a Rabbi and teacher who lived at the time of Christ. Though he was not from Jerusalem, an obstacle for moving up the ranks in the temple hierarchy, he assumed a leadership role as a teacher and a religious leader.

He was famous for cutting through all of the various excuses and getting to the moral point in an argument. “If not now when” carries a clear message and has resounded down through the centuries: if there is a problem, an evil, a plague that shouts for attention and action, we have no excuse to hesitate because there will be no relief from an evil until we focus our attention and will on eradicating it.

Children are the point here. There are some who will say they have always been the point, but that view is held be a disturbingly small minority. Throughout the centuries, before there were the simplest of universal laws to protect children, these weakest and defenseless of human beings got the worst of the abuse the world seems happy to dish out. Around the time the Civil War ended an awareness of the plight of children developed in our country due to the swelling numbers of orphans. I’ve read that the first legal maneuvering in defense of children in our country was through laws that were designed to prevent animal cruelty. There were no laws to protect children at the time

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In more recent times child abuse has followed it dark path, with thousands of children unknown victims in the shadows. So many things in our society are like that; if it happens behind closed doors, what business is it of ours? Children died or disappeared in droves, both in biological homes and foster homes. At some point in the last few decades, a new awareness of child abuse brought about changes in the law. Child abuse became a crime and professionals like teachers and doctors became mandated reporters: not reporting child abuse became a crime.

The courts began to take on criminal and civil charges of child abuse. Unprepared for this formerly distasteful subject, our legal system limped through it first few decades of child protection, sometimes getting it right, often missing the point and returning children to their abusers or giving custody to pedophiles who just happened to be the child’s parent.

On the other side of the ugly coin witch hunts began to spring up in which parents and people who worked with children were falsely accused of Satanist tinged ritualistic child abuse and murder.

All this time, the law scrambled to keep pace. Only the laws developed for child abuse were limited in scope and not designed to strategically attack child abuse.  And then something amazing happened. In the first decade of the twenty-first century a man who had the read the books of Andrew Vachss decided that something needed to be done. Vachss had heard the words of Hillel years ago and had spent decades helping children, most recently as a lawyer representing children exclusively.

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What Andrew Vacchss has done would take a book to explain. For our purposes we can call him the hero that inspired one of the founders of Protect.org. The reality is that, were it not for Andrew Vachss and his dedication to this cause, it could have been years before this miracle occurred. The past does not paint an optimistic picture for a future without Protect.org. After thousands of years of child abuse I think we can call the formation and expansion of Protect.org a minor miracle.

What Protect.org began as is a strange animal for those involved in the law and politics. Its founder was involved in politics, a man who organized political campaigns. Inspired by the dark world in Andrew Vachss’s books he dreamed of a lobby to work on strengthening child abuse laws in the U.S. Most lobbies serve far less philanthropic industries and organizations. The liquor industry has a lobby. And so does the NRA, a very effective one. The point is that a lobbies do not have the best reputations and Protect is an amazing evolution of a tool used only by special interest groups into a use that fits our constitution and the humanitarianism that the various government bodies in the U.S. claim as their fundamental principle.

Since its founding Protect has expanded and spun off a sister organization called The National Association to Protect Children which  works to fight child abuse across the board and doesn’t limit itself to lobbying. In addition Protect has demonstrated its serious intent and its inventiveness by starting the H.E.R.O Child Rescue Corps. These are military veterans who are being trained to fight the exploding network of producers of child pornography. Joining in this fight is the Oak Ridge National Laboratory who is using its super-computers to analyze files on various servers to find pockets of child pornography.images3

In the long run, the only way to effectively fight child abuse is to make the laws harsh enough to take pedophiles off the street, to break the back of trafficking and a growing child pornography industry. What Protect.org is doing is allowing children to live the American dream, providing that opportunity to thousands of children who, without help, will live lives of depression and, possibly, criminal behavior. What is most frightening is the real possibility that these damaged children may become abusers themselves.

Go to Protect.Org. Donate what you can. And get involved. For one child out there, alone, your contribution will be immense.

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Review of Neil Newton’s novel “The Railroad” by Michelle Medhat

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5.0 out of 5 stars Explosive and emotionally charged. An incredible book and an amazing ending!, October 13, 2015
Review of author Neil Newton’s “The Railroad” on Amazon
A story of a man emerging from the wreckage that 9/11 made of his life, may not sound the most enticing premise for a story. Indeed, it may appear quite self-indulgent and depressing, but The Railroad is not such a book. Mr Newton has written an explosive and emotionally-charged tome that tugged with continuous regularity at my heart strings.

Mike Dobbs, the lead character is a survivor of the catastrophic tragedy of 9/11. Caught in the subway just underneath the Twin Towers at the time of the attack, it is soon apparent that Dobbs is anything but a survivor. Half of him has been shattered to pieces, and the other half is guilty he’s still alive, when so many he knew perished. He has a void inside that can’t be filled despite Dobbs’ attempts to fill it with copious amounts of alcohol. It leads him to face a sudden reality, his life is futile and pathetic. His Wall Street raider persona is stripped away ruthlessly by the dust of the blast, and what remains is a husk barely comprehending a meaning to life beyond the bottom of a bottle of Laphroaig. His job, love life and friends are left behind as Dobbs heads for a life in the ‘burbs of Bardstown, and his weekend retreat bought with his yuppie money. A place as ugly as his own soul has become.

Whilst Dobbs descends in to his own purgatory, chilling abductions of parents running from spouses who have abused their sons/daughters are detailed. They are interlaced into the story with a jarring frequency that takes the reader out of the mind-set of someone coping with PTSD. This story is much greater than that. Mr Newton’s excellent story-telling skills weave a story of complexity and intrigue, to keep the pages turning. This is not a second-guess book, as there are gear shifts continuously, forcing new hypotheses to emerge; new considerations to be sought.

Mike Dobbs is a man going through a transformation, and the stages of that change state are brought to life with vivid and immersive description. There are times when reading The Railroad that I felt the frustration that Dobbs experienced when all the legal doors were closed. Not giving any spoilers away, but Dobbs faces down a sick and evil individual with courage and given the fact he’s drunk most of the time, a show of smart, incisive thinking. This capability is borne out of necessity. Dobbs is on a crusade to save the lives of those he loved but for a fleeting moment. Intrinsic to his transformation to a state of inner peace, is a journey that Dobbs goes on, into the wilderness that is the Maine, to save his loved ones and at the same time, himself.

An extraordinary journey with an amazing denouement. A note to Mr Newton’s genius is the change of voice at the end. A nuance that may be lost in the melee of the final realisation, but one which exemplifies the change point beautifully. A stunning debut novel and one that I highly recommend. I look forward to reading more from Mr Newton in the future.

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Book sale: “The Railroad” by Neil Newton is on sale for only 99 cents, September 10 – September 12

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The Amazon page for the book can be found here.

“On Sept. 11, 2001 Mike Dobbs’ life was forever changed. Reeling from his nightmare experience in New York’s subway as the twin towers collapsed he retreats from his high power Wall Street life to his run down country house. Soon he is embroiled in the life of Eileen Benoit and her 7-year old daughter Megan as they flee Eileen’s abusive ex-husband. Suddenly Mike is thrown into a world he knows nothing about and he is forced to answer the question, how far would you go for someone you love?”

Like his protagonist in “The Railroad”, Neil Newton spent a life changing half hour in the subway a block and a half from the World Trade Center as the towers collapsed. This experience inspired “The Railroad”. Newton wears an antique subway token around his neck to remind him of that day.

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