A Call to Action
There is much to say during these trying times. I want to first acknowledge the shifts and upsets that billions of people across the globe have had to make these last few weeks. The unknown has become a new normal for so many and this is no small task. I am with you in this and want to say I feel you, I understand, and I thank you for being in it with me. I know that together we can create massive influence on anything we set our minds to. As we have seen so often throughout history in uncertain times, when we remain humble, kind and caring, healing happens, strength expands and lives change. I am thankful that we have access to technology which allows us to stay connected to our work, our communities, our friends and our families. For this, I am ever so thankful and proud to be a part of this world.
As many of you know, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. I know that turning our attention to topics unrelated to COVID-19 may be a challenge, AND…I also know that COVID-19 is the EXACT reason why we need to focus on child abuse and neglect right now. As a single mom to three little ones, I can admit that nerves can be frayed a bit, routines are off-balance, some days are better than others, but boy almighty is this eye opening for me in my role with EndCAN. I know that abuse occurs in isolation. I know that “abusive parents love their children very much, just not very well,” as Henry Kempe was so good at saying. Yet, I also know that if I am stressed, and I have a job, a home, food, good support systems, and the ability to take breaks, I can only imagine what life is like for those parents who don’t have even a fraction of the above. I imagine what their children must be thinking, feeling, experiencing, losing, and fearing. How are we keeping children safe when their doctors, teachers, friends, protectors, and community members who are often both their and their parents’ saving grace, are not there? What is happening for those little ones? Who is looking out for them? I can’t help but think the impact of COVID-19 will reach beyond the one on our economy and businesses, beyond our education systems and tapped out teachers. It will impact everything, including the children who we are working so hard at protecting. SO much can be done with policy to provide resources to parents and children and support services that will be essential to healing when this passes. For each of us, awareness of impact, keeping our eyes open, calling when needed, and providing hope, love and light to everyone we come in contact with are all ways we can help each other now.
If you suspect a child is being abused, neglected, or exposed to an unsafe situation, never hesitate, trust your instincts, and please make the call: 1-800-4-A-CHILD.
And now I have a call to action: To those of us who’ve made it out of abuse. Those who have been affected by it, experienced it, live with someone who is a survivor or know someone who is, this is for YOU. Child abuse affects EVERYTHING it comes into contact with. Some of us have permanent scars, many of us are still struggling on a daily basis with mattering, attachment, healing, addiction, mental illness, chronic diseases, autoimmune issues, you name it, we know it doesn’t just STOP when the abuse STOPS. I NEED YOUR VOICES. We need every person affected by child abuse and neglect to join us! Together we can create a community of change by being LOUDER THAN SILENCE. You don’t need to share your story, you don’t need to out your abusers, you don’t even need to define what abuse means to you, I only ask that you join us and BE THE CHANGE. Raise your hand, get informed and help us spread the word. Together we will break this cycle!
On April 30th we are hosting a virtual event, our 1st No Dinner Dinner(ironically it was already a virtual event before the physical distancing measures, to help reach a national audience). This night is one of connection, information, entertainment, and a call to action to Join Us to help end child abuse and neglect. Head to our website for more information on how you can Take Part. I can’t wait to see you there!
All my love,
Lori Poland, Founding Executive Director
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