Today I began doing the online training course that must be completed before the workshop. This is the material I will be able to ‘teach’. I have to admit that it brought up some stuff for me and I found myself wondering ..for just a brief moment…if perhaps I was not ready for this after all. That moment passed very quickly and I am now feeling even MORE determined.
The statistics are staggering. 1 in every 4 girls and 1 in every 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. RARELY is it the ‘stranger in the trench coat’…they account for less than 10%!!! These are people who children know. These are the people you least expect. Many times the perpetrator is someone in the child’s immediate or extended family. Here is the kicker. We stay quiet because we do not want to rock the boat. It is too uncomfortable. And this is not to blame adults for not stepping in to do something. It IS scary and when you do not know what to do then you push it aside. You deny its existence. You minimalize it. You’re not too sure if something is really going on or not. You don’t know how to find out.
The program ‘Stewards of Children’ empowers adults to take action by educating, raising awareness and providing tools to help each member of the community to act appropriately. Thus far I have found the course to be well thought out and it has provided me with new insights. It will make you squirm a bit. There are video conversations with survivors and law professionals who bear witness to the effects on a daily basis. The remarkable thing is that these people speak so clearly and passionately and without a trace of self pity. I think this is really important as it shows that there is hope and that by facing our fears…by getting through the uncomfortable pieces, by finding our collective voice as a society…we CAN and WILL make a difference. We will affect positive change.
Hell ya. I am scared and might have a bad dream tonight but that’s okay. This is not about me. This is about children having the lives they deserve. This is about taking a stand and being open about something that has been a taboo subject for far too long. This is about healing those who have been hurt.
btw…from time to time I will upload images from my own personal collection. I do not claim to be a photographer but these are places and images that have special meaning for me. This one is from a trip to the botanical gardens in Montreal…a beautiful waterfall in the Japanese Gardens…