15 hundred – the number of children that die each year from abuse.
140 thousand – the number of injuries a year that are a result of abuse.
1.7 million – the number of reports of abuse that are made each year.
and these are numbers that are taken from cases that were reported. i don’t even want to imagine how many cases haven’t been reported. i’m a huge advocate of child abuse prevention. april is the month that they choose to increase the awareness. you may ask yourself how you can take part in preventing children from being abused. to help nationally you can visit Child Abuse Prevention or to help locally you can visit The Exchange Club Family Skills Center. but really, as cheesy as it sounds, just smile at children. you never know how much a smile can do for a little boy or girl. a lot of times we think of abuse as physical abuse. but that is not always the case. children can be emotionally abused as well. and just a friendly, caring smile from someone can really lift their spirits. i urge you, if not challenge you, to pay more attention to the children around you. find ways to love on them. you might be their only source of love. i’ll leave you with an excerpt from “a child called it”. this isn’t to depress you but to show you what is happening around you.
“once home, mother ordered me to strip off my clothes and stand by the kitchen stove. i shook from a combination of fear and embarrassment. she then revealed my hideous crime. mother told me that she had often driven to school to watch my brothers and i play during our lunch period recess. mother claimed that she had seen me that very day playing on the grass, which was absolutely forbidden by her rules. i quickly answered that i never played on the grass. i knew mother had somehow made a mistake. my reward for observing mother’s rules and telling the truth was a hard punch in the face. mother then reached over and turned on the gas burners to the kitchen stove. mother told me that she had read an article about a mother who had her son lie on top of a hot stove. i instantly became terrified. my brain became numb, and my legs wobbled. i wanted to disappear. i closed my eye, wishing her away. my brain locked up when i felt mother’s hand clamp my arm as if it were in a vice grip. ‘you’ve made my life a living hell!’ she sneered. ‘now it’s time i showed you what hell is like!’
this is a true story based on the childhood of dave pelzer.