Reporting Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse comes in many forms and being aware of what they are is our best defence in being able to truly help.

Now I know that sometimes you feel like you should keep your nose on your face and mind your own business. For the most part when we think this it’s probably true, but not when it comes to child abuse.

We need to be more alert to the signs around us. Talking to kids and making sure that they are being treated well at home or any other place that they might go to for that matter. Child abuse doesn’t happen just at home after all. It can happen anywhere at anytime, so to question a child make sure that you are covering all the basis. Make the child understand that whatever is happening to them that it’s not ok. It’s not their fault, they are not the reason the other person is abusing them.

So when someone is concerned about a child that they think is being abused, they should bring it to the attention of a teacher, the police or even Children’s Aid Society. I know that many people have some issues with CAS (Children’s Aid Society) but I am here to tell you something that might just change your minds.


As a child that was abused myself from the age of four until I was eleven by my father, then the emotional and mental abuse that I went through with my mom, I was in the foster care system often. You see after dad went to jail for the charges of molestation against me, mom had a complete nervous breakdown. This left me completely alone. I had no other family that lived close by, nor did anyone want the responsibility of raising me as both mom and dad had been the black sheep of their families.

I was sent to live with a few foster families. I stayed with a family that had a mom, dad and two kids for a short period of a week. They were nice and all but it wasn’t home. I had just finished testifying in court against my dad and had come from such a long history of violence that a “normal family” wasn’t something that I was used to. I just wanted to be home with mom. I needed some kind of bond and I need to feel like I actually belonged somewhere. That someone loved me.

I got to live with a few single moms again nice people but I just felt like I was looked down on. This wasn’t something that I should have to be feeling. I felt like a burden, sadly more so then I did back at my actual home. Then after being bounced around a few times here and there as mom tried to commit suicide over and over again, I finally got settled with a long-term foster family where I remained for almost a year.

They were amazing. I still get choked up now thinking about the first day I walked into their home. They all made me feel welcome. From the dad who was a mailman, mom that stayed at home and now two foster sisters that I was about to become a part of their family. I finally belonged somewhere. I was a part of something truly amazing. A “normal family” were we all had rules to follow and no one was treated differently. Family game nights, movies and popcorn, bike rides and camping, we did everything that a family should have the chance to do together.


There was no anger, no abuse and no hatred. Only understanding, compassion and support. The best part from not just one person but everyone in the family. They were open and honest. They taught me the true meaning of support and love. If it hadn’t been for this amazing family, I would never be the person that I am today.

Yes, I know I was one of the lucky ones to be placed with such a caring and healing family and that not all kids will have such an amazing experience in foster care. But isn’t the fact that they are no longer being abused the real reason to report a child being abused. I would rather see a child in a foster home that yes perhaps isn’t where they want to be or feel the most comfortable in, but it’s till 100 % better than having to live the horror of being abused on any day.

So please report a child that is being abused. You just never know when you might be saving their life. If you don’t want to be known when you are reporting you can do it anonymously.

Did you know it’s the law to report child abuse?

Please be a part of the solution not the problem.

Danielle Simms

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Effects of Child Abuse


Abuse of any form can take a toll on an adult. Imagine what it’s like for a child. Waiting in fear each and every day to see if today is going to be a good or bad day. Will I make it through another day? Why does my life have to be this way? Am I bad, is this why I am so mistreated?

I remember looking forward to going to school each and every day so that I could be away from the hate, violence and fear that was taking place at home.  I prayed daily that I would have the courage to tell someone what was really going on at home.  To have the confidence to tell someone about the abuse, knowing that they would believe my story.   Being so scared as I had my dad’s voice in the back of my head telling me that if I told anyone, that they wouldn’t believe me. Telling me things like it would be my fault if our family would be broken apart, that it was a normal thing for a dad to love his daughter this way.

Wanting to hurt to end not only physically and sexually, but mentally. I was a child and I was mentally drained. I would have given anything for a teacher to pull me aside and ask me questions about the new bruises that showed up on my arms or legs. Talk to me, tell me that I was going to be safe. That I was a victim not a bad child.

But sadly it never happened and I went home every day knowing that at any moment, dad would come home and the abuse would start all over again. Just like the heartbreaking video by Martina McBride called Concrete Angel, I was that little girl. The only difference is that I made it out alive. Many children like the girl shown in the video are not as fortunate.


It’s hard to sit here now and admit that I was so broken, lost and only looking for a way out that wouldn’t lead to mom and I being exposed to the violence that dad reminded us of each day. But it was my life daily, my reality. What life used to be like as an severely abused child. Knowing from personal experience what it was like to be that scared little girl, I want to help others understand that there needs to be something done to stop this abuse from happening.

I went through being yelled at, being called ugly or stupid. Being told that I would never amount to anything in life. That this was it and no matter what I tried, he would always be there to remind me that he was in control of my destiny.Living in terror from minute to the next. Watching as my mother was tossed around like a rag doll at the hands of a man who was supposed to love and protect us.

Not one child in this world should ever have to experience these kinds of emotions. Fear, terror, no hope. Having your life flipped upside down because of someone else. Never truly understanding why this is all happening. Screaming in your own mind searching for the right time to escape. Living Past Being A Victim is my life story of abuse.

Many children that are abused will suffer from anxiety, depression and even PTSD. So many of these children grow up into adults or the ones that make it at least do. Reliving each day of their childhood in their dreams. Never escaping the abuse as it’s too etched into our memory.

The Joyful Heart Foundation has an incredible breakdown on the developmental and psychological and effects of child abuse. They have taken the time to give examples of the different forms of child abuse and how each person can be affected developmentally and psychologically.

Another site that gives details to the consequences that sometimes go hand and hand for a person that has been abused as a child, is called Little Warriors. Here you can read the different overall, individual and societal consequences that abuse has on an adult that was abused as a child.

The stats are truly scary.



We all need to do our part in helping end child abuse. It has to begin somewhere, so why not be that person to help others. Talk to your child and reassure them that it’s ok to tell an adult that you can trust what is going on at home. To not live in fear, to stand up and tell someone that you are being abused before it’s too late.

Danielle Gallant Simms


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Learning to use Social Media

Social media has made many advances over the years. I remember when I first started using an old application called ICQ. It was the wave of technology in 1996, being able to talk to people online in real time. Not having to pick up the phone and call someone became very convenient, especially with companies. Sending a quick message on ICQ to others in the office, was that much faster and easier. It was a great way to communicate instantly with others near or far.

Then a few years down the road in 1999,  I went to using MSN Messenger. I had no idea what it was until a friend of mine was using it one day on her computer. I have to admit, I liked it a lot better than ICQ even if I hadn’t used often. This is where I became hooked to using social media. I began chatting in online groups. Mostly in my area and I was fortunate to make several friends along the way. I used to host chat parties at a local bar that I worked at several years ago. It was a simple way for people to meet and not be alone when meeting others. Making it a safer environment for all involved, because let’s be honest meeting anyone for the first time can be scary, for many of different reasons.

Time passed and MSN became a thing of the past for me just like ICQ did. Once Facebook came out in 2004, I was beyond excited. To think that I could keep in contact and be a part of other people’s lives on a daily basis was exciting. Reconnecting with people that you may never otherwise see as life gets busy, but you still care how they are doing.  Being able to share good and bad times, pictures and memories with others. The idea that you can set privacy settings so that only specific people can contact you or see what is going on with your Facebook page. A brilliant idea as some just want to stay in contact with certain individuals. Social Media has opened a new door for not only friends and family but for companies of any size.

Whether you are as big as McDonald’s, Air Canada, or your local bank, many companies are all using social media to communicate with their customers. Allowing people to post comments or leave feed back on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Giving businesses an opportunity to get a better understanding of what their customers want from them. Before social media became such a convenience to use, people would write letters of complaints to the company, or would pick up the phone and give the customer service representative for the company, a piece of their mind.

I’ve been on the receiving end of some customer complaints. Let me tell you people can be mean when angry. Screaming at you like it’s your fault that the product was not all it said it was. Frustrated at the product but laying the blame on you personally, when in all reality they are mad at the company itself. Now, you just have to send an email, or write a post on the company’s social media site. Using social media has given large companies the chance to interact with their customers one on one and with a quicker turnaround than writing a letter and waiting for a reply. It gives the customer and company a chance to work out their issue together as soon as possible. Having the power to change a bad review to a good one.Brands must be more open, honest and transparent. Drawing more customers to their brand with reviews on not only their product, but also their customer service.

Social Media is opening the doors for small businesses, people that work from home or are self employed, giving them the opportunity to get in on the ban wagon of free advertising. Using social media like Facebook where you can start a group or your own page for free. Having sites like Weebly or GoDaddy making marketing your product easier and with less stress of having to build an entire website from scratch. Making you look professional from the start. But where do you go from there?

As I continue forward with my course at Algonquin College, I am intrigued to learn more about the proper ways to effectively use social media. Being an author is wonderful and I have lots to share with others. However, knowing how to reach readers that would be interested in what I have to say, is an entirely different thing. Social media is the wave of the future and I plan on being a part of it.


Danielle Gallant Simms

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Living Past Being A Victim (COM0011)

Every single day there is a child somewhere out there in the world that is suffering from some form of abuse.  Some boy or girl who attends school with your child, is likely being abused at home either mentally, emotionally, physically and possibly even sexually.


There needs to be more done to stop these hideous crimes against children. Many of these children grow up never sharing their story, keeping things hidden for years.Living in shame of what has happened to them and suffering in silence. Never understanding that they have not done anything wrong and don’t deserve to be treated this way. That it’s truly not their fault.

There is an article in the National Post that has a headline that reads, One-third of Canadians have suffered child abuse, highest rates in the western provinces, study says.  Think about that for a minute, one-third of Canadians! That’s  a lot of people who have been abused. Possibly your friend, co-worker, next door neighbour, your doctor, a local radio celebrity, a news broadcaster, or even the grocery store clerk you see on a regular basis. However as many won’t ever tell their story, we generally tend to look past the cold harsh reality of abuse that happens every single day.

It’s rather ironic for me that it also states in the title that the highest rates are in the western provinces, as that is where my abuse began as well.  Sadly I am one of these statistics. However, I am here to say enough is enough. No longer will I keep quiet. No more will I hide in shame from the abuse I suffered not only as a child, but well into my adult years. I am here to take a stand, to be that voice for the millions of children and people, that suffer from abuse.

I want to share my horrific story. I want others to be more aware of what happens behind that closed-door each and every day, all over the world.  The fear, hurt and sense of loss that a child  goes through when they are abused is something that we can no longer allow to continue happening. We need to take a stand and reach out to these children (possibly now adults) to let them know, they are not alone!

In my story Living Past Being A Victim, you will have a better understanding of what it’s like to be in that abused child’s shoes………My Shoes!


Walk through each chapter as I describe what it was like to be me, to be the child that was severely abused. Understand the fear that comes with being that abused child.

The hurt, rejection and shame that comes with the many other psychological issues . Get a real understanding of the struggles that come with the life of a child that lived through every form of abuse all at once,  on a regular occurrence.

Go inside the mind of someone who has been there.  feel the roller coaster ride of emotions that go hand in hand in a child’s life while suffering from abuse.
Help others understand that they are not alone. Help them see that they don’t have to live the kind of abusive life pattern that I did. Get the message out there that there is a different world that they can live and be free of abuse.

Lets help others understand that living past being a victim,  is truly possible.


Danielle Gallant Simms


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For anyone that truly knows me, I have never been one to hide the
fact that I was abused as a child. I have always tried to be open and
honest about my past as it is a big part of who I am today.

I have been fortunate to share my story in Living Past Being A Victim.
Now it’s time to let others know that abuse in any form needs to stop
here and now. Children and adults all over this world are being abused
at this very moment. Let’s give them the voice that they deserve. Help
end abuse. It doesn’t need to be this way for anyone.

Follow my journey as I get my voice out there one post at a time to
help end child abuse!

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