Wednesday, April 4, 2012

child abuse: america's hidden crisis

Sunday was April Fool’s Day. How many of you got tricked?

Yesterday was free ice cream day at Ben & Jerry’s. I missed it this year.

But April is an important month for another reason altogether. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  

According to a recent BBC report, one child dies in the US every 5 hours as a result of abuse or neglect. That’s nearly 5 children every single day. Did you know that?

The BBC calls this our “hidden crisis”. We have the worst record in the industrialized world. For a nation who likes to win, we are big losers when it comes to protecting our children. These children are not only being let down by their abusers, but every single one of us who doesn’t step in fails these children as well.  

We have got to take responsibility. We have to become better protectors of our children. We need to educate ourselves about the signs of abuse and how we can better protect children. Each one of us has a responsibility to end this crisis.

My mama’s a writer. She’s the author of the just released A Silence of Mockingbirds. The story of the murder of 3-year-old Karly Sheehan.  This book is a must read. Not because I’m biased and the author is my mama. But because, every one of us needs to open our eyes to the real problem of abuse and neglect in this nation.

Some of you may cringe, and say, “But I couldn’t possible bear to read such a book.” And to you I quote Flannery O’Conner : “The truth doesn’t change according to our ability to stomach it.”

Child abuse is real, and by closing your eyes and plugging your ears to the reality, you contribute to the problem.

Mockingbirds are fierce protectors of their nest. They will take huge risks to defend their young. They have been known to dive-bomb larger birds, animals and even people who threaten their nests with a goal to chase the predator as far as possible from their nest. We need to take a lesson from the mockingbirds and learn to protect our children. 

Take the first step to becoming a protector and buy A Silence of Mockingbirds


  1. What a beautiful analogy. I didn't know that about mockingbirds. We are quick to point out the shortcomings of other countries, but are grossly blind to the tragedies in our backyard.

  2. It is so true. We're like that in a lot of ways, even as individuals. Pointing out other's mistakes and never focusing on what we need to fix.

  3. Amen and Amen Dear Shelby! I am looking forward to seeing your mama tonight in Corvallis and listening to her share from her heart. I have read the book and yes it is difficult but there are so many lessons to take away from it too.

    1. Glad you're going to make it tonight. Wish I could be there. Give her a hug for me!