Child abuse is an epidemic. Children are tortured right here. Probably on your street a child is suffering from abuse right now. It might not be the kind that leaves bruises, or shows up on X-rays, and those kinds of injuries might actually be easier to accept.
Col. Nathan Jessup, the character in the movie A Few Good Men, was right when he said: “You can’t handle the truth!” That is the case with child abuse. Last year, 673 children were served by Child Enrichment, your local child abuse experts. Almost half of those children were victims of sexual abuse. I now know that the average person doesn’t know how to process that information. It is too horrible for most people to understand.
And complicating all of this are the child deaths from physical abuse, and we find that average people just shut down. From March 17 to June 14, 2012, seven children died in Richmond County. Six were confirmed homicides, abuse or child endangerment.
I have learned that people don’t respond well to urgent demands for their attention. So what can the average citizen do? Anyone can help abandoned, abused, neglected and sexually abused children. One of the easiest ways is to help Child Enrichment. Please know that Child Enrichment does not have enough funding, and your help is requested. Please give your time, monetary donations or in-kind donations of anything you use in your home of office. All will help Child Enrichment to continue providing the counseling and court advocacy and finding safe permanent homes for these children.
Another way to help is to buy a ticket and attend the Oyster Roast on Friday, March 22, or attend the 24th Annual Cookin’ for Kids on Saturday, March 23. Both events will be at Daniel Field airport.
If you cannot do any of that, please tell someone else about the work being done for local abused children by Child Enrichment. Children can and do recover from even the most severe abuse; they just need some help to do so. Please help if you can.
(The writer is executive director of Child Enrichment Inc., the Child Advocacy Center and the Court Appointed Special Advocates for local abused children.)