by Steve Wright
The Family Healing Center will be sharing with KRL’s readers about the things they do once a month.
I took February off from writing an article as it was a busy month all the way around and our fundraising effort in February took a great deal of time. I spent a good deal of time talking about the impact of child abuse of every kind on our children, families and our society. It breaks my heart every time I talk about it because I have a difficult time with the realization that there are actually people out there who would and do victimize our children. All too often it is a close family member or someone who is trusted by the family. Even throughout my years in law enforcement I could not wrap my head around this fact. But it is true, I see it every day. I see the trauma that our children go through, the impact on the children and the family. It is truly a sad state of affairs. When I look at the statistics of how often this happens it is also mind blowing.
I know how many children I see come through our own facility here in Fresno, but when you look at it on a national level it is even more devastating. I am constantly looking for solutions and there are numerous efforts out there that have some very good components for training and education on how to deal with the problem. Our justice system has made attempts to put laws in place that make longer sentences for offenders, registries in every state to protect us from any would be predator. There are task force efforts such as ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) and virtually every law enforcement agency has a Child Abuse Investigative Unit. This is all good stuff.
My dream is to be able to prevent this from ever happening. Once a child is abused the damage is done. We can pick up the pieces and try to put them back together, but that child and the family will be ever traumatized and the fear of trusting anyone around children again is present always. Prevention efforts are the responsibility of every person on this earth. We really need to arm ourselves with as much knowledge as we can if we are to fight against this evil. I have mentioned before that we, at the Family Healing Center facilitate training for Darkness to Light which is a prevention program for adults who wish to be proper Stewards of Children. I am always looking for folks who are interested in this training, and you can even go through the training on-line which makes it much more convenient.
I am also constantly reading and researching for good material and resources that can help all of us be better stewards. There is a publication out there that is probably one of the best I have seen. The material is much too much to put in a short newsletter, but it can be very valuable for anyone in any capacity. Knowledge is key in preventing child abuse, recognizing and reporting is also critical. What if your child reports abuse to you? What do you do? How do you respond? This material will help. Nothing can take away the pain once it happens. Don’t let it happen.