Talk about it.
Make a plan.
Act on suspicions.
These are seven steps to protecting our children.
I recently attended a Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training class which taught these seven steps to preventing, recognizing and reacting responsibly to child sexual abuse. I couldn't have asked for a better beginning on my journey to help educate myself and those in our community. I highly recommend that we all become more aware of the things around us so that prevention can happen. Taking this class like this one is a great way to start.
You can find information at www.d2l.org . In Polk County, N.C. you can reach the darkness to Light Stewards of Children Facilitator: Kiesa Kay at P.O. box 144, Tryon, N.C. 28782 phone number 828-859-3194 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of our work book it has a statement that I would like to share:
Break the cycle of silence. If sexual abuse is part of your history, do not keep it silent. Healing yourself is still your choice. Even if you were sexually abused, you are whole. You still have power and you still have choice. By breaking the cycle of silence, you begin to restore your personal power and reclaim your wholeness. In breaking the cycle of silence, you become part of the community of adults who honor and protect children.
On a personal note: Breaking my silence about my abuse lead to a freedom that I thought I could never achieve. With the right encouragement and prayer, I found peace. I will be praying that you, too, will be lead to the right person to trust with this very sensitive situation.
If you have questions about sexual abuse, or suspect, know or even have a gut feeling about a sexual abuse situation, please contact a person or organization of authority.
THE LAW (N.C.): If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, or it you think a child may have died from being mistreated, you must report what you know to the County Department of Social Services. As long as you are acting in good faith you cannot be held liable.
The following are available contacts:
Resources in Polk County N.C.
To Report Suspected Abuse:
Polk County DSS 828-894-2100
231 Wolverine Trail, Mill Spring, NC 28756
828-894-3001 emergency: 911
40 Ward Street, Columbus, N.C.28722
Steps To Hope 828-894-2340
60 Walker St. Columbus,N.C.28722
Family Outreach: Ruth Richardson
Director: Rachel Ramsey
Rutherford-Polk-McDowell Health Dept. 828-894-8271
161 Walker St. Columbus, N.C. 28722
Director : Jimmy Hines
The Healing Place 800-656-4673
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
Western Highlands (mental Health) 800-951-3792
Director: Charles Schoenhelt
Childhelp National Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD
(1-800-422-4453) then push 1 to talk to a hotline counselor
God bless you as you make yourself, children, and your community safe. You can contact me through a message here on my blog or email me at email@example.com if there is anything I can do to help you find contacts in you area for help in this very sensitive area.
Trust in the Lord....
…So shall you find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.