Monday, April 14, 2014

Child Abuse Prevention And Awareness: What Can You Do?

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of justice when it mattered most, that made it possible for evil to triumph."           ---Haile Selassie

Thank you to my friend, Faith McDaniel, another Advocate for children and survivors of childhood sexual abuse, who shared this quote recently on Facebook. 

This article came about because of a person on Facebook asking the question (paraphrased) what can just one person do to stop child abuse. His comment was that child abuse is so big, how can one person make a difference. Here is my answer to him.

You begin with one day at a time, one child at a time, and one survivor at a time. If you continue to do nothing as previous generations have done, nothing changes. 

I am proud to be in our generation which is no longer being silent about the abuse we have suffered from and through. I am proud that we do have a voice and aren't afraid to use it. One day we will stop child abuse in all of its ugly, evil forms, but we won't do it by remaining silent and afraid.

Any start is better than no start at all. Instead of the question, "What can we do to stop child abuse?" bring it down to the question, "What can I do to stop child abuse?" Make it personal. Make it real. 

Find one small thing you can do today and do it. Don't just talk about doing it. Don't say you will try. Try gives you a way to do nothing but talk. Do. Then tomorrow do something else. 

Have a conversation with someone about the signs of child abuse. Educate yourself if you don't know those signs. Post something about child abuse on your Facebook page or Twitter to educate others. Education is so important for parents and for children.

If you remain silent, nothing changes. Mentor a child. Give them a healthy role model of what it means to be an adult. Allow them to be children. Listen to the child when they talk to you. Really listen. You may be the only one who does. 

If you suspect child abuse, report it. Tell the agency that you call what you think is happening or what your feelings are. Don't keep quiet because you might be wrong. What is worse is that you might be right and you may be the only hope that child has. If you ask a child if they are being abused and they say no, that child may be too afraid of their abusers to tell you the truth. What does your gut tell you? If you tried to get help for the child and failed, remain a mentor to the child. You may be the only kind and loving adult in that child's life. You may be their lifeline to sanity.

Just think of the changes that could happen and the children who could be saved and protected if each one of us did just one thing each day to change the status quo. We can do it one child at a time.


Faith McDaniel said...

Thank you Patricia for this post. There can never be too much information provided to help spread awareness and invite other supporters to join our voices.

Patricia Singleton said...

Faith, I agree and you are very welcome, my friend and fellow advocate.