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06/04/2010

I Reserve My Strength to Protect My Own

OhioMoms_BabyBrianna I stumbled upon a conviction update on the physical and sexual abuse of 5-month-old "Baby Brianna" by her parents and uncle.  I will not post any links because you can search for articles and blog posts yourself if you wish to but please be forewarned that the abuse is described in detail and will be very probably very difficult to shake off so do consider not putting yourself through that misery.  I can attest - for days, I felt weak around my shoulders and found myself drifting to thoughts of why, why, why? with each quiet mental moment.  In addition, the reality that this is just one discovered case and the potential number of children whose abuse and abusers are never reported. 

To my point, this is what I found at ChildHelp,

  • A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.
  • Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
  • It is estimated that between 60-85% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.

* Statistics listed at

http://www.childhelp.org (original sources are listed here)

My first inclination was to want to jump in and get hands-on so of course I started thinking, "How can I help?  How can I make a difference?"  And I only get into a deeper emotional and mental depression for the moment because I do not think that I have the emotional resilience to work with young children who have been through or continue to experience abuse.  The reality is that in most of these situations will result in me not being able to help, or in a really sad ending.  And how would my involvement affect my interaction with my children and the people who interact with them?  Am I going to become erratically suspicious of everyone, unable to trust anyone, and be that overly-protective mom?  Even the questions were too difficult to think through and the overwhelming mix of guilt, anger, frustration, and empathy just made the decision even more difficult to make. 

So the truth is that I copped out.  I wrote a small check to ChildHelp as a meager attempt to help, and who knows, maybe as a first step. Then I placed the veil back over my eyes.  I acknowledged that I am of weak spirit and mind, and that with what little strength I have, I have to be strong for my girls and family.  So you see, this is not a post about what selfless and awe-inspiring steps I took to right this big wrong, it is actually kind of a downer.  But if someone should read this and feel compelled to take the steps I was too cowardly to take, or let the thoughts of helping the cause fester enough to share this with someone else who will then help, then this has done some kind of good. 

For those of you who would like to be the bigger person and find ways to help, visit http://www.childhelp.org

Or to donate via mail, send your donations to, 
Childhelp National Headquarters
15757 N. 78th Street, Ste B
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260

Grace Hester multi-tasks as a full-time working mom of two, owner of an etsy store that offers custom and personalized modern keepsake prints, and blogs about it all at Tale of the Multi-Tasking, Craft-and-Design-Loving, Mother-of-Two, Singaporean-Living-in-US, Corporate-Working Mom Named Grace Hester.

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