Recently, someone asked me why I do this work. Why, she asked, am I a child advocate who works to prevent child sexual abuse?
My answer? I got into child advocacy the same way some of the best things have entered my life…quite by accident. That, she patiently explained, is how I started out as a child advocate; she wanted to know why. My answers seemed very superficial. Because it’s important. Because I seem to have a knack for it. Blah blah blah. None of my “answers” even scratched the surface of my True Why.
I quickly understood how millions of dollars are earned by authors, business coaches and media hosts who help people find their Why. It’s a tricky question. Like a sneak attack. On the surface it seems like a nice, simple question. But let me tell you. It’s not. This “nice and simple” question took me on a journey I wasn’t prepared for. In fact, I went kicking and screaming.
There was a lot of journaling involved. And meditating.
I slowly started to realize how important it was to me – personally – to prevent the pain from abuse that can leave a residue of worthlessness, betrayal, and shame. How important it was to me – personally – to give children a voice. To be a voice for our children who don’t have one.
While my Trauma wasn’t child sexual abuse, I know the pain of not having a voice as a child; the pain of feeling like there is something wrong with me, and that it’s my fault. Anger walks alongside that pain, and…damn…it holds on tight. And I know so many of you share this with me.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s my Why: It doesn’t have to be that way!
As adults, we can do simple things to better protect our children from sexual abuse. Mind you, I didn’t say ‘easy’ things; but they are simple. If we are willing to.
That’s why I want you to step out of your comfort zone and talk about child sexual abuse, and then talk about child sexual abuse prevention, and then take action by making child protection part of your organization’s, team’s or family’s way of doing things. I don’t mean changing your child protection behaviors only when it’s convenient or when it’s not too uncomfortable. I mean always…no matter who…not matter what.
Why? Because the price is too high for us not to.
That’s why I force the conversation, work to increase awareness and provide prevention and response information and training. Please join the conversation and let’s do this together.