This Page

has been moved to new address

Kid Companions- Chewelry

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Kid Companions- Chewelry: Oct 13, 2010

October 13, 2010

Elizabeth (Lisa) Freeman Stops Bullying, Abuse and Violence in Their Tracks

When I agreed to be moderator on The Coffee Klatch tweetchat for Oct. 14th, 2010, I had not foreseen the captivating story I would discover. This week I have been getting to know
Lisa Freeman, her life, her books, her projects, her children, her accomplishments and above all her mission that consumes her life now: Stop Bullying, Abuse and Violence in their Tracks. Lisa Freeman is doing this by educating the community as a whole (kids, teens, parents, teachers, adults, and those in the workforce) through literature, books, and fun interactive workshops to prevent/stop bullying and abuse. Lisa and her team are helping others to overcome the bullies in their lives with practical solutions, to defeat the bully without violence.

Lisa agreed to the following interview. Read on if you want to see how one person can make a difference!

Lisa, tell us about your family history.
I was both bullied and the bully in school. I was neglected by my parents and felt like I wasn't important, so I went looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places… where I was physically abused (almost killed), sexually abused (molested, raped, and forced to do the unimaginable), and mentally abused (controlled and manipulated). I went through two abusive marriages. Now, I have been married to a loving husband for 17 years—19 altogether.

How did a runaway, abused teen who never finished high school finally overcome domestic violence and become an award-winning author?
At 26, after two very abusive marriages, I was a single mother of 3. I started running in a whole new direction. I got my GED, went onto college, maintained a 4.0 and made the Dean's List. I felt led to write, began writing a book, wasn't published for five years, then I sent an article out, got published in Guideposts, and that's when everything took off. Soon after I started writing, worked for some of the best markets in the industry, and became an Award-Winning Christian Author. Now I teach other writers how to get published. Not bad for a girl with only a 7th grade education!

What prompted you to write your book series, Run For Your Life? Also congratulations for winning Writer Of The Year, in 2000 and in 2007 at the American Christian Writer's Conference. Also for receiving the Best New Book Award 2007, Writer's Legacy Conference, Run For Your Life Book One and all the other awards I read about on your sites.
I wanted to write a thriller based on my true experiences of living on the run that would reach teens so they wouldn't make the same bad choices I made. Run For Your Life is about running away at 13, Run For Your Life, Book Two is about being on the run again at age 15 and Run For Your Life, Book Three is about being on the run of my life. This time to protect those that I love.

Why are you passionate about stopping bullying, abuse, and violence?
Statistics show 1 out of 10 children is bullied. And my entire family and even our dogs were bullied and abused in some form. But mostly because innocent children all over the world are dying every day because of it. Just in the past 3 weeks 8, children have taken their own lives, and the last one as young as 10. I don't want another child to lose their life or another parent to suffer that loss.

How do you intend to make a difference and stop abuse, bullying, and violence?
I believe education is key to everything in life including this. Statistic tell us that 85% of children on a school playground are bullied and no one helps. The greater 11% that help are other children, whereas only 4% are teachers. This tells me that they aren't educated on what to do. So we offer upbeat interactive workshops for varying age groups, pre-k thru adult, to educate kids, teens, adults and teachers on how to defeat bullying without violence.

What steps led you to offering workshops to stop abuse, bullying, and violence in their tracks?
I founded A Time To Heal Ministries (2000) and Take A Bite Out Of Abuse (2006). Later in life, I went onto Bible College, where I received a degree in Christian Ministry (2008).

Tell us about Take A Bite Out Of Abuse.
I had a brand new house, 4 kids, and a husband. My number #1 rule was NO PETS!!! Then a runaway, abused dog ran under my van. I said we could keep him one night--that was 11 years ago. Today, Snickers, is an Award-Winning Certified Pet Therapy Dog, the Mayor of the Shiawassee Humane Society, a Canine Good Citizen with the American Kennel Club, and the Mascot of Take A Bite Out Of Abuse--AKA The Bully Buster!

We've been doing pet therapy/anti-bullying workshops all over Michigan since 2006.

This year we teamed up with the Bully Police USA and became their Healing Projects Specialists. We travel all over to schools, hospitals, churches, libraries and to other events to bring hope, healing, and life to all.

How is your program different from other programs out there?
We use dogs in our presentations, which makes it a lot easier to talk about bullying and abuse from a dog's perspective. Everyone loves dogs. We have two that we use: The Bully and The Bully Buster. We don't stereotype. We believe that bullying is a behavior and can be changed. At the end of each program we offer a trick presentation, followed by a time of pet therapy, allowing a time of interaction, as it has been proven medically that dogs actually create healing endorphins that release in the human body.

We have three different workshops for schools, depending on the ages of the students, and religious/Christian workshops. For example, for Highschoolers we touch on the tough major issues teens face today (dating violence, peer pressure, cutting, suicide, huffing, hazing, drugs, etc). By allowing them to interact through insightful games with their peers, they learn how to defeat abuse, bullying and violence. We reinforce methods taught with a trick presentation by the dogs and offer a fun, competitive Q and A time to see what students learned.

Where do you plan to do your presentations?
We've presented in schools, churches, libraries, hospitals, and for other events and organizations all over Michigan. But our goal is to go all over the USA in our son, Brian's memory, because he was bullied all his life.

Tell us about your son, Brian.
All my kids were sexually abused. Three of them Robert, Melissa, and Brian by their own father. Jeremiah by a counselor and neighbor. They were also all teased and bullied.

When Brian was 3 weeks old we found out that he had a congenital heart defect: He had only 2 chambers in his heart and the doctors said he'd only live to be a year.

The first two years of his life, Brian battled CHF, pneumonia, and life threatening respiratory viruses. WE were in the hospital more than we were home. At age 2, he had Fontan Surgery to put 3 chambers in his heart. He'd also developed an aneurysm on his pulmonary artery. Surgery was a success and he was totally well and off all meds for 11 years! At 13 he had a modern day Fontan. He was on more than 15 medications and was in the hospital more than he was home. After surgery his heart functioned at only 45%. At 15, Brian had a MAIZE procedure which was supposed to remap the heart to stop the arrhythmias and give him a more normal life, but it didn't. He was then placed on a heart transplant list and remained mostly at home.

Although Brian had his down moments, during the last five years of his life, he still continued to work for the summer Baker College Youth program, help with the dogs in our program, help with pet therapy, and cook for our family and church events.

Brian was easy to please. He was happy, easy going, fun to be around, and yes a little different. He was unusual and eccentric too. He loved to smell, touch, and taste everything. And his ears were very sensitive to noise. One of my funniest memories of him as a little boy was walking through Meijers with his arms outstretched feeling all the clothes, then he came to a pregnant woman's belly and began feeling that too. Embarrassing, yet hilarious, the woman and I both laughed. We later learned that Brian had Aspergers Syndrome. That’s why his senses were all over the place. too.

Because of being different kids always left him out and teased him, both in church and at school. His whole life he had two real friends, both had Aspergers too.

How did that come about—you wanting to travel all over the USA?
We had talked about one day how we were going to do something like that, but when Brian died we found a change jar he'd been saving, and immediately it came to me that we were supposed to collect CHANGE so we could go all over the USA to be the CHANGE for Brian and stop bullying, abuse, and violence.

How many people and dogs will be traveling and how do you intend to get from place to place?
There are five of us and two dogs. We are hoping to get an RV, either by someone giving us one, or getting enough funds through donations, grants and fundraisers.

What will you be giving up to go?
Our jobs, our home, our families, and all the modern conveniences of living in a house.

How can people help you reach your goal and go all over the USA to stop abuse & bullying?
By donating, praying, & sponsorship @  

The following are links to read more about Lisa Freeman and her work:
Websites:  &

Her Story of Overcoming Abuse & Helping Others:

Change of Heart for Brian & Donations:

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,