April is child abuse awareness month. Since a lot of my readers are involved in the healing community and also in raising the consciousness on the planet, many of you will be hearing and reading a great deal about child mistreatment during this month.
As I relayed in my memoir, I experienced extreme childhood trauma as a child, so I deeply and personally understand the effects of those actions on one’s life. I have also reached a place of understanding and compassion regarding why this negative behavior occurs. I do not condone the mistreatment of any child – ever. On the other hand, I do not condemn those who are unconscious of their actions, for there is no one on this planet who has not been unconscious of their behavior at some time on their journey. I also do not suggest that there are not times when individuals need to be incarcerated due to the danger they pose to society in general, and children in specific.
An issue such as childhood mistreatment is emotionally charged, and it can bring up one’s own unresolved anger issues. I know this from my personal experiences. For many, this anger results in the exhibition of indignation, retaliation, judgment and punitive actions. Although I understand the basis of these responses, I am going to suggest that lending this negative energy to the world does nothing to address the core causes of childhood mistreatment. Some of my child advocacy peers will disagree with this position, and I respect their right to their viewpoint.
I believe that education, understanding, compassion, and healing are the tools through which we will prevent child abuse and neglect. We have tried to address this societal problem through legislation, intimidation and incarceration. None of these tactics have proved effective, as the problem continues to grow. We have, to date, been dealing with the symptoms of this epidemic, and not its cause.
And so as we enter the month of April and beyond, I ask that each of us remember to keep putting the energy of love and compassion into the universe, as we work to make this world a better place for all of us.
I have quoted Maya Angelou hundreds of times, so here I go again.
“When we know better, we do better.”