Catalysts for Change: The Million March Against Child Abuse

RibbonChildAbuse6Kirschenbaum Productions recently discovered the work of War Against Child Abuse, a strong social media presence who uses Facebook (almost 20k followers) and Twitter (@WarAgainstChildAbuse) to raise child abuse awareness.

A painful topic that too often seems to get ignored is that of childhood abuse. It’s an uncomfortable subject for many, but that’s part of the problem. Without open dialogue, there is no understanding of how to alleviate the problem.

War Against Child Abuse (W.A.C.A.) works to bring individual cases of child abuse, as well as related public policy, into social consciousness. W.A.C.A. enlists followers through their social media outlets to act by offering proactive tools such as votes for a cause, petitions, requests for funding for child abuse prevention, and more.

A recent and very important event is approaching, and W.A.C.A., among many other organizations and individual activists, are gathering to make it a monumental occasion. The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which was first proclaimed in 1983. The blue ribbon is worn in support of child abuse awareness and prevention. On April 22nd, 2013, this year, there will be many blue ribbons worn because it is the day of the Million March Against Child Abuse. On this day, many people across the nation unite for peaceful demonstrations against child abuse and crimes against children in the U.S. The march will take place in Washington, D.C. and many cities across the US; maybe even your city. If you wish to lead or co-lead a city, send your phone number, complete name, e-mail address, and city to MACACoordinator@gmail.com. You will be given full support, step by step instructions, and items you need. You can check out a list of cities already registered for demonstrations at the following page.

The spokespeople for the Million March this year are the band, Linkin Park, nominated for several Grammys and winner of a few Grammys including Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002. They have albums such as Hybrid Theory, Meteora, and their latest Living Things. The lead singer Chester Bennington gives a Public Service Announcement about the Million March and National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month covers the very broad topic of “Child Abuse”. Unfortunately there are many forms of abuse from physical to sexual to psychological. Psychological maltreatment (also known as bullying, or emotional abuse) is often considered more complicated and can go unnoticed, but nevertheless can be just as damaging and painful as physical and sexual abuse.

As a survivor of emotional abuse and bullying, filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum tells her personal story in her upcoming film (and also this blog’s associated site and brand), LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! In this documentary, Gayle delves deep into her highly charged relationship with her mother. We follow her journey as her relationship with her mother transforms from hatred to forgiveness and love, Mommie Dearest to Dear Mom, and from abuse to friendship and love.

Looking from the outside in, without first hand knowledge of emotional abuse, one might see it as a parent who is merely teasing, or just expressing their love and concern by being critical and controlling their child. Due to raised awareness around teen bullying, however, there has been increased understanding of how debilitating words can be. This is not to imply that the label of “abuse” is being applied to anyone that gets their feelings hurt easily or is overly sensitive. Emotional abuse includes ignoring (belittling, shaming, ridiculing), isolating, exploiting or corrupting, verbally assaulting, terrorizing, and neglecting the child. Psychological abuse is also frequently coupled with physical and other forms of abuse as well. The result leaves scares, and statistics show us that emotional abuse needs special attention. A 2011 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study found a total of 676, 569 victims of child abuse and neglect across the United States. A total of 118,825 of those victims experienced psychological abuse.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month is here, and the team behind LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! and advocates like W.A.C.A would like all of us to be aware of the child abuse that does occur in the United States. Gayle Kirschenbaum, through her seminars and the upcoming LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! film, seeks to be a resource and forum for child abuse awareness and healthy family development.

Please help prevent child abuse or any form of abuse. War Against Child Abuse is a great way to stay knowledgeable of child abuse. Another great foundation is Children Without A Voice USA, whose founder, Lin Seahorn, is a child abuse survivor. Look out for the Million March Against Child Abuse near your city as April 22nd, 2013, approaches. Remember to wear your blue ribbon!

References

“Million March Against Child Abuse April 2013, Washington DC & in Your State – About | Facebook.” Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013. <https://www.facebook.com/MMACAmarches/info>.

Project Topic: Look At Us Now, Mother! (LAUNM). N.d. Report on child abuse.

This entry was posted in Child Abuse Awareness, Social Issues and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.