I write frequently about children with special needs and the work I (and all of you professionals and parents) do to make their lives better. But today I want to talk about another group of children: those who have been sexually and physically abused. This is somewhat of a taboo topic in our society, because people don’t want to think about the fact that this kind of abuse happens. But the sad reality is that it does, and all too often.
April was National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois is carrying that awareness into May with with weekend’s Champions for Children Walk. Tomorrow morning, people in 27 cities throughout Illinois will walk in support of the 10,500 abused children that Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) serve every year.
Working with law enforcement, medical professionals, and other agencies, CACs offer a safe, child-friendly environment for forensic interviews and medical evaluations of the child victim, and on-going support for children who have been abused, as well as their families. My mom opened the Sangamon County Child Advocacy Center here in Springfield just over 20 years ago, and my stepdad is the current executive director. This year, in honor of the Champions for Children Walk, my mom and I collaborated on a song which will serve as the event’s theme. You can listen below, and follow the link to download it for free:
Sometimes I wonder if it matters what I do
Is there anyone who’ll listen, or am I among the few
Who see the pain and hear the cry
And stop to question why?
Rise up and take a stand
Raise your voice, reach out a hand
Be a champion for a child
Speak the words she cannot say
Be the light that she’s been searching for
and give her strength to help her find her way
For a moment stop and wonder
How a child can live in fear
What are they telling us that we cannot hear?
What do they need to ease their pain
the tears that flow like rain?
Just think of the changes that we could make
how different our world could be
when silence is broken and their voices are heard
when we open our eyes to see
And even though you most likely don’t live in Springfield, or even Illinois, you can “rise up” and be a Champion for Children. How? By sponsoring me in tomorrow’s walk, if you feel so inclined. Any pledge amount, from $1 on up, will go towards the child abuse prevention, education, and direct service to children who have experienced physical and sexual abuse. Pledges can be made by clicking the “make a donation to this group” link at the very bottom of this page.
Although it’s been raining all week, we’ve been blessed with a beautiful forecast for tomorrow’s walk! I’ll be singing “Rise Up” to kick things off, and then it’ll be time to get moving. I can’t wait. Hope you all have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend! See you back here on Sunday for this week’s Sunday Singalong video.