April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month back in 1983. It is hard to believe that a month has to be dedicated for such a horrible crime, but doing so does raise awareness and reminds us of action we need to take.
I do remember as a child watching the commercials on TV about child abuse, and even domestic abuse. Some of those commercials cannot leave my mind. I remember being so moved at the plight of these children who are victimized by sexual, physical and emotional abuse. I remember stories of neighbors who lured little girls with food then placed such psychological control and fear on a child, that the child knew she had to do whatever she was commanded. I did not know it at the time, but child pornography was captured in this way.
Why do these children fall in these traps? What is the answer? Do we homeschool everyone and shut down public school? I sometimes wish it. :) One common vulnerability for these children is an unstable home. For girls who do not have a strong male role model who affirms them and the value of their life, she is at risk for falling for another male who will deceitfully do so. Which can lead to trafficking. For youth who face such physical and violent situations at home, as they runaway, within 48 hours they will have an encounter with a trafficker. These are facts not only evident in America, but currently occuring in India, and I'm sure in all parts of the world.
What can I do about this? I wish I could help every one of them have a safe place to stay, and while I am working on making that dream come true, there is more I can do now. I know that I can be a listening ear for any child I come in contact with. I can be a mentor for young people. I can be a coach for a team. I can be a Sunday School teacher. I can be a cheerleader. I can be a mom. Don't despise the day of small beginnings. We all can do our part and stand up for a child. Begin today and do it....
...Because every child matters!