“TEARS in APRIL”
Advocate/Author/Speaker/Trainer/Talk Radio Host/Survivor
Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery
Ms. Tricia McKnight
“Patricia A. McKnight”
Author: “My Justice”
We are now into the last full week of April 2012, Do you know what special awareness month this is supposed to be? This blog will explain why this question is so very important as we go along.
First let me say that I never used to know what the true specialty of this month meant; neither did any of my friends. To me this is extremely sad and in all honesty, a bit scary.
Throughout this month so far, I’ve been watching and looking around, kind of listening to see if anyone picks up on this and what they are pushing for during April. I’ve seen and heard about awareness for things such as, Autism; Sexual Assault, and on our local news, I even heard an announcement for Hairball Awareness Day!!! All I can say is Wow!!!
Now don’t think for a moment that I am down playing Autism or Sexual Assault. The Autism disease actually effects 1 in 100 of our children, Sexual Assault (Rape) effects 1 in 4 women & 1 in 6 men according to national reports from many available web sites. Definitely these are an important issue and we do need to support them, but Hairball Day, do we really need that one?
The saddest part of this Awareness in April and the reason for this post title, is that APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH!!! Shouldn’t this be the direct and most important awareness issue for this special month? I don’t know about your area, but in my small mid-western area of South-Central Illinois, the only child abuse awareness or discussion has been the Balloon Release Event that I initiated.
I do know through my contacts and friends on the social media sites that many other Child Abuse Advocates and organizations have done a special awareness events for this month. Those I am aware of personally are gaining in strength.
Stop Abusing Your Children – Stacey & Jeff Sutphen – They have filmed and are fighting now for the share of a Public Service Announcement, which so far is going to be shared on Bravo!!!
NAASCA.org – Bill Murray and his amazing team hosted a truly honoring event in their area of Sacramento, CA along with “Army of Angels” to kick off a two-week long commemoration of Child Abuse Prevention Cross Country Motorcycle Run.
Debbie Splawn-Bunch – Dreamcatchers for Abused Children National Spokesperson – Held the first annual Candle Light Vigil at Cole’s Garden in Oklahoma City, OK. She and her local citizens, who had been hit by a series of tornados the day before, attended and asked us around the country to dedicate a moment of silence for our children as we remember those who have been destroyed and even killed by the crimes of abuse.
Tricia McKnight – Held the first annual Balloon Release Event in Breese, IL. and our local citizens showed support through silent auction donations and more. Our local Mayor, Charlie Hilmes and my Fourth Grade Teacher, Ms. Linda Walcher took part and gave a few moments of speech in the support of our event and discussed the extreme silence of this crime and how our children can so easily be overlooked when burdened in shame and secrecy. We also had a special share from Mr. Carl Hart who is a member of the NAASCA organization and supporter of Just Tell, teens reaching out to teens.
So with all of the above news, why do I say,”Tears in April”? Think for just a moment about this very important fact; EVERY 5 SECONDS A CHILD IS BEING HURT OR RAPED BY SOMEONE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO TRUST WITH THEIR SAFETY!!! In fact, most of these children have to live, eat dinner and sleep in the same house, with the person who is causing this pain. Their lives are being destroyed and then they are forced to carry the secrets of what happened within their home. They’re going to school every day worrying about what could happen to them that night. NEVER knowing from one moment to the next if the very safety of their home will change into evil and attack them.
To think that this very special awareness in the month of April is not getting recognition; published in every newspaper and TV station across the globe, is not only disheartening for our children but extremely sad. Our children are depending on us to provide them with love, guidance, support and yes, even necessary correcting/parenting, but we cannot even give their lives ONE MONTH OF TRIBUTE. This is an utmost cruelty and sadness for them. What will they think of us as people when this new generation gets old enough to understand this meaning?
Overall child abuse has increased due to the state of our global and national economy. Child deaths are now estimated at 5 each day, but in Illinois alone we lost 161 children from abuse & neglect in 2010. We also had a total of 9,457 cases of Sexual Abuse, this is just across our one state. What are the stats of your state? Check the DCFS or DHS/CPS web sites for your state to find out.
The fact that these numbers continue to rise and we cannot Nationally Recognize & Support the efforts to bring a huge awareness across our country for their safety and well-being is so tragic. What will they think of us indeed? How will they see our views on this issue? What examples are we giving them? We see commercials constantly about the support for Animals; Children Abroad; and many different diseases, but the most serious disease, the cancer eating away at our human kindness, does not get the major support across our states. Everyone seems to feel drawing attention to this evil makes it too real to accept, but for the majority of our generations this evil has been accepted as “Normal”; “Not Damaging”; “Just a Part of Life”, for centuries now. I have to ask, “When will this crime and torture of our children no longer be accepted”?
It has been proven that the long-term effect of Abuse, the emotional and mental health treatment of those who survive these horrific traumas, is costing our country an estimated $124 Billion Dollars a year!!! You can find this fact and many more about the life long effect from Child Abuse and Rape on the National Institute for Mental Health or http://www.nimh.gov Survivors are often so deeply affected with major signs being overwhelming between the ages of late 20’s to mid 30’s, when we are becoming adults and parents ourselves. This causes our families and marriages to be destroyed. It causes us so much physical and emotional damage that maintaining stability in our lives and being a productive member of society is almost impossible. The worst effect from abuse is the cycle that carries it forward to invade the live’s of our own children, either by our actions or our decisions; such as allowing this to continue as an UN-NOTICED CRIME!!
Please join with me and the many other organizations, foundations, and advocates who stand and encourage you to take part in the awareness and educational events for the last remaining week of April. We need to come together as a society to give true honor, support and the public attention that our children deserve!!! Why should it be so shameful to speak publicly and support the safety of our children? We can stop the “Tears in April” by changing our view of this subject. Simply watching and caring about the children in our circles is a small way to make a very big difference. They need to see our sincere love and deep appreciation of who they are and the possibilities of who they can become. If we are the generation that begins this movement to protect them and provide a positive influence in their lives, look at what changes they can bring to our world. One or more of them may be the scientist who creates a cure for Cancer, Aids, Autism, Schizophrenia; maybe even a pill to prevent a prone nature of violence. How can we as a human race turn away and ignore this special month? How can we not have huge Blue Ribbons of support or Walks for Awareness; beautiful Candle Light Vigils across the country? How is it that we cannot provide a DONATED television commercial to run on all local stations across the country? How can we not find those famous voices of support from Actors/ Actresses/ Government Officials and more to stand up and speak out against these heinous crimes? How can we continue to turn away from the SURVIVORS OF ABUSE and tell them to “Just get over it”??!!!
This blog is one of the many publications from Author, Patricia A. McKnight and is held in the same copy write for the novel, “My Justice” and all other information pertaining to her articles, books, blogs, and more. You can join with me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62 or on Twitter @triciagirl62. There is also a women’s private support group that I founded and mange online through Facebook. If you are interested in being a member please send a “Friend Request” so that we can connect and talk further.
I strongly encourage anyone who is a survivor of childhood abuse to speak up and be heard, use your voice and your story to help create a world wide awareness to the horrific nature of these crimes and the devastating long term effect that plagues our lives and continues to destroy the children of our next generation. Please stand with us and be the generation that screams out to all, “NO MORE ABUSE AGAINST OUR CHILDREN”!!!