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Rush campaigner, Lurleen Hilliard

Rush campaigner, Lurleen Hilliard

Rush campaigner, Lurleen Hilliard

fingalindependent

A Rush woman is on a mission to expose physical, emotional and sexual abuse wherever it happens all over the world and has grown an organisation with exactly that purpose from a simple Facebook page to a network of volunteer organisations that will be active in 50 countries by the end of this year.

Lurleen Hilliard set up her organisation called Nolonger Victims in 2012. Back then the organisation was a simple Facebook page that she hoped would become a point of contact for those suffering abuse or those that were witness to it, where they could reach out and help expose the abuse and ultimately, end it.

Her organisation has come to worldwide attention in recent weeks with two videos from the Philippines which it helped to expose, both appearing to show very young children being physically abused.

Those videos went viral but their removal from social media sites angered Lurleen who believes that for 'abuse to be exposed, it has to be seen'.

She said she disagreed vehemently with a lot of politicians and commentators on this issue who have called for these videos to be taken down and said these kinds of images had to be seen by people to 'wake people up' as to the abuses that are going on in homes all over the world.

The organisation Lurleen founded and now runs, deals with all kinds of abuses to children and adults alike and the Rush woman has become an internationally recognised expert in the field, working with law enforcement all over the world, including the FBI to rescue people from abuse.

In the latest video exposed by Lurleen and her volunteers, a baby, reportedly in the Philippines is being held up by the wrists and continually dipped in hot water and is obviously distressed.

The cries of pain stop later in the video and Lurleen believes that is because the baby has lost consciousness. The organisation is working to track down the baby in the video and working with the Philippines authorities to achieve that but Lurleen fears there is a possibility the child is already dead.

The Rush woman passionately believes these videos need to be seen by the wider public and says bluntly 'if you hide abuse, then you enable abuse'.

Calls for the removal of these kinds of videos from social media make it easer to 'ignore the victims, rather than ask instead what we can do about it', Lurleen said.

The Rush woman said that she set up her organisation in 2012.

In the next six months, Lurleen says the organisation will have branches in 50 states in the US and in 50 countries around the world, not only helping rescue people from abuse but also helping to counsel and nurse them back to health and help them deal with the trauma they have been through.

Everyone who works for the organisation is a volunteer and Lurleen wants to reach all the victims of abuse they possibly can as well as 'wake up' people to the abuses going on in the world.

Lurleen said: 'I have become one of the most certified and qualified people in the area of abuse in the world through the work I have done and courses I've taken. I'm a certified expert in traumatic stress and an international expert witness on the FBI registry on traumatic stress.'

That leads the Rush woman around the world as an expert witness in court cases involving abuse and she has also become a recognised expert in crisis management and human trafficking.

She publishes an online newspaper on abuse issues and runs two websites devoted to the issue and is clearly driven to do something about this problem that often goes on behind closed doors, invisible to the a community that either does not see or does not want to look.

Lurleen believes that people in rural communities are particularly vulnerable to abuse where it is easier to hide and local law enforcement are less likely to take an interest.

While the organisation helps both adults and children, the effects of domestic abuse are felt by children whether they are the physical victims of that abuse or not, according to Lurleen.

She explained: 'A child that lives in a home that has domestic violence in it, even it is never physically touched, is a victim of abuse.'

Abuse going on in the house between any individuals 'eats away at the child's brain', according to the Rush woman.

Lurleen now wants to grow the organisation and continue to expose abuses all over the world. 'I just want to wake people up to be aware of what abuse actually is,' she told the Fingal Independent.

She added: 'What is unique about our organisation is that we deal with every form of abuse from child abuse to elder abuse because nobody in that situation should have to trawl through the internet to find the right organisation for the particular kind of abuse they are going through.

'We are there on the internet for anyone who needs help. All of our branches have a Facebook page and we have someone that can help you with any kind of abusive situation.'

Lurleen is attracting the attention of high profile television shows in the US and her organisation is about to embark on radio programme too. It is all part of the philosophy that the more we talk about abuse, the easier it is to stop it. Find out more at nolongervictimslurleen.webs.com

Nolonger Victims has linked with a US organisation called CARI - Child Abduction Recovery International who specialise in child abduction recovery.

The Rush-founded organisation works with CARI not only on the recovery of the victim but on the equally important counselling of the abducted child and its family once the child has been recovered and restored to its home.

It is just another branch, albeit a very important one, of the growing organisations work which also includes the counselling of returning war veterans in the US who are suffering from traumatic stress from events in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere.


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