Voice Platform and Support Network for Families of Missing and Victims of Crime
Thought I'd share a little bit about the conference:
Day 1 (Feb 22, 2011):
The Chief of Police of Appleton, David Walsh, talked. One of these people that you know "get it" when it comes to the world of the missing. One of things he made law enforcement think about in reference to the missing and solving these cases: "Passion and vigor: If not then who?"
Pete Banks, Director of Training and Outreach for NCMEC. Great speech. Most of it I knew already via my Virtus.org training certification. He did throw a new word in there in referencing child molestors: "subductive." He cautioned law enforcement to take seriously repeated runaway cases. He said they are victimized by subduction. I took this to mean the grooming, the kids aren't abducted (as we know typical abductions) but subducted. He did bring up Suzanne's law but it only goes up to age 21, I'm not familiar with it and need to look it up. He stressed to learn the languages of all who deal with the missing (law enforcement, social workers, etc.) He also talked about "social autopsy." This is where many knew a child was being abused but didn't communicate it to everyone else. (teacher, social worker, etc.) Lack of communication stops us from protecting children. That also is what Virtus stresses but I had not heard the term social autopsy before.
Beth Holloway, Natalee's mom. She gave a very moving and powerful speech. Took us through the breakdowns in trying to deal with a foriegn country when you have a loved one missing. I won't rehash the whole speech but I did take away once again that word COMMUNICATION. In this case she was talking about jurisdictional laws. A couple things that struck me that I want to remember that I jotted down while she was speaking. She mentioned from the bible verse: A chord of 3 strands cannot be easily broken. Side note: Thus is why we stress on Peace4 the families reaching out and helping each other....the more people you get involved the harder it is to break the chord of 3 strands. Beth stated that she is the Victim to Victor meaning she had a choice to either do nothing or choose to make this a learning experience for all. She also mentioned May Day 360 for International help. I had not heard of this and plan on researching it further.
I noticed several families crying as Beth spoke. I wanted to cry, so wanted to cry as for me Natalee's disappearance was harder on me, impacted me more than any other case and more than any other family sitting in the confernce room. My husband went missing on May 19, 2005, Natalee went missing on May 30, 2005. It was the first time I realized how badly the media ignores missing male adult cases. I don't think I was ever jealous of the fact that Natalee's case was getting all the attention as much as I was shocked and hurt. Realization slapped me in the face. Over the years I admired Beth for how savvy she was in using the media for awareness and came to greatly respect her. A couple hours after the speech, in a clearly God driven moment, Beth and I met up and I got to tell her pretty much what I said above. I also let her know that she or Natalee's case were what made me become an advocate for the missing adult cases. As powerful and dynamic as a speech giver she is when I held her in my arms, giving her a hug, she was just a scared Mom still searching for her daughter. Thank you Beth for not curling up in a ball and doing nothing.
Watch for my Day 2 recap tomorrow.
I here at the conference and would love to meet you. Maron shirt with logo on front.
WI Center 4 Missing Children & Adults
John.....I'd love to meet you too. I'll send you my cell phone #. I just met Patti Bishop in her jammies and me looking like shit first thing in the morning! LOL.
Was a pleasure to me you today and share info.
Already a ton of good information coming from Fox Valley!
Thank you, Maureen, for being the "boots on the ground" person and reporting first hand. The public needs to learn so much and this is how it gets filtered down through one person at a time.
Excellent report, Maureen!! I'm (I will admit now even though before I was worried about you driving in the bad weather to get there ;) so glad you went! So appreciate you sharing this with us and looking forward to the next update ... xoxoxoxoxo