A Letter of Hope and Healing

I’m sure many of you have recently experienced this same thought, “where has this year gone?” I feel like it was just April when the Children’s Safety Center staff and community members came together to place pinwheels in Springdale, Fayetteville and Farmington to help raise awareness of child abuse in our communities. Now, it is almost December and as I write this letter, the CSC has been able to help more than 450 children, between the ages of one and 17 by providing support, hope and healing through our programs.
I know every day the staff of the Children’s Safety Center and the Washington County Multi-Disciplinary Team members work diligently and around the clock to do their best to keep children safe. We have helped children this year who experienced neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, both sexual and physical abuse, were alleged witnesses to homicide, domestic violence, and possible witnesses to drug use in the home. In my opinion, children should never have to experience any form of abuse, so as Executive Director, this is where I ask for your help.
When individuals ignore child abuse issues or do not speak up in support of fighting child abuse, it makes it very difficult for the Children’s Safety Center to secure funding. Until our community is able to eradicate child abuse the Children’s Safety Center will continue to be an important nonprofit organization providing high quality services to help child abuse victims become survivors.
I believe individuals either do not want to discuss child abuse issues because it makes them uncomfortable or they do not even realize child abuse is happening in their own communities. Who wants to think of a child being abused? No one, but the fact of the matter is, it is happening in our communities. It has been such a taboo subject matter, but did you know that 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser or that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18? The more we talk about child abuse, the more we are educating both children and adults. Knowledge is powerful.
In order for the CSC to continue providing support, hope and healing to children and their families we need you to invest in our organization, now more than ever before. We need you to trust in our mission. We need to be able to continue making sure alleged child abuse victims are able to have their needs met in a discreet, comforting, and nonthreatening manner, which makes the process more efficient and less traumatizing for the child.
As adults, we all need to play our part in protecting children! On behalf of the Children’s Safety Center staff we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Best wishes,
Elizabeth Signature
Elizabeth Shackelford
Executive Director