|wearing a Blue Ribbon is
a symbol of child abuse
awareness / advocacy
|National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
NAASCA's Blue Ribbon Campaign - History of the Blue Ribbon
EDITOR'S NOTE: This program is ideal for anyone whose mission includes an interest in issues of local public safety. Neighborhood Watch groups, churches, schools, clubs, non profits, improvement associations, etc, can all take advantage of this simple idea.
The National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse is hoping someday everyone in the nation will consider wearing the symbol of awareness of child abuse. We're asking for your help .. and we're making it easy!
In 1983, during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, April was set aside as National Child Abuse Awareness month as a way of raising awareness for the issues of child abuse in America. The Blue Ribbon that's associated with child abuse (much as pink ribbons are associated with breast cancer) was first established in 1989, yet too few are aware of it even today.
So we thought, "What if each of us took it on ourselves to wear and distribute FREE Blue Ribbons?"
| Blue Ribbon Campaign
We want you to have the info you'll need to be aware and knowlegable about child abuse.
We provide lapel-sized Blue Ribbons and safety pins, of course, but also printed materials that include:
| talking points,
the statistics of child abuse,
and cards or fact sheets what you can hand out to your members.
Among other things, they include the info and tools needed to explain how to:
|1) teach kids to defend themselves,
2) recognize the effects / symptoms of abuse,
3) learn how to talk to a child, once you suspect abuse,
4) intervene / report abuse,
5) how to deal with internet-based child abuse and more.
Why is this so important?
America is experiencing an epidemic that's destroying our kids lives at a rate of over 850,000 a year!
The statistics show our children (America's TRUE treasure) are being sacrificed to childhood sexual abuse, severe violence, emotional trauma and neglect at an alarming rate.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates conservatively that close to 50% of our kids will be effected by one of these types of child abuse before they are 18 years old !!
The CDC reported in 2008 that the annual cost of dealing with the issues of America's child abuse is an astonishing $120 billion! They calculated the lifetime costs for all the issues surrounding each one year's worth of abused kids at an incredible $585 billion!! And this figure repeats EVERY YEAR !!!
Child abuse effects all social strata, all races, both sexes, and kids from birth to 18 (when we stop calling it "child abuse" and start calling it "assault / battery / rape / domestic violence , etc").
Victims may not report abuse for a number of reasons. They often fear that disclosure will result in retaliation against themselves or against someone whom they love or depend upon for basic survival. Victims may also fear removal from the home or traumatic separation from family members.
An additional reason, and even perhaps the main reason why victims do not report abuse, is fear of not being believed.
Community members may think you know about child abuse .. but ..
Perpetrators and pedophiles are people of no particular "type," and many select professional careers and volunteer positions that will put them in direct contact with large groups of kids. They look like you and me.
They naturally gravitate to groups, events and activities where children may be found.
At least 30% are close family members.
Only 7% of the offenders are strangers to the child. Fully 93% of the time they are someone they know, love or are supposed to be able to trust.
This is a major problem in urban, sub-urban and rural America (and around the world), one which we can not afford to turn away from. Folks who won't talk about it either suffer from a taboo of discussing human sexuality, especially childhood sexuality, or are in denial.
An alarming number are using the anonymity of the Internet to approach our kids, often creating a fake "persona" (profile) that they hide behind.
Take a moment to consider these statistics of child abuse:
There are over 42 million survivors of sexual abuse in America.
At least 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be molested before they are 18 years old!
Somewhere between 2/3 and ninety percent of sexual abuse victims never tell !!!
Over 90% are abused by someone they know, love or trust.
20% of child sexual abuse victims are under the age of 8 .. most never tell, and some don't recall the abuse.
At least 2,500 of America's kid's deaths are listed as caused by child abuse (grossly under reported).
One in 7 children who are regular Internet users receive sexual solicitations online.
1 in 3 is exposed to unwanted sexual material.
1 in 25 receives a request to meet someone in real life that they met online.
800,000 children are reported missing every year in the U.S. or 2,000 every day.
Annually, an estimated 58,000 children are abducted by non family members, the primary motive for which is sexual.
In the most serious cases, the child is abducted by a stranger and killed, held for ransom, or taken with the intention to keep.
According to the Department of Justice, 74% of the time a child is killed by an abductor it happens within three hours of being taken.
Across the country, someone is making a call or sending in a tip about a suspected case of child abuse every 10 seconds!
The statistics speak for themselves, and reveal without question that America's facing an epidemic that seeks to destroy our kids .. to the tune of over 850,000 new victims each year !
History of the Blue Ribbon
and child abuse awareness
| In the Spring of 1989, a Virginian grandmother, Bonnie Finney, took a stand against child abuse after her own grandson suffered a tragic death because of abuse. Bonnie tied a blue ribbon to her van as a signal of her personal commitment to involve everyone in the battle to stop child abuse.
NAASCA is asking everyone to follow Bonnie's example by wearing blue ribbons or by tying a blue ribbon to the antenna of your car, especially during April.
Be Aware - Be Active - Make A Difference
Wearing a Blue Ribbon is all about raising awareness. It signifies an understanding of the serious nature of the problem our kids face, and indicates our willingness to discuss the issues.
We adult survivors of child abuse understand these issues better than anyone. We've lived them from the inside out.
42 million American have thus far been sexually assaulted as kids, but this number has little relevance as to those who can talk about their experiences comfortably. The fact is a TINY minority of this number have experienced a "recovery" or are healed enough to be the "voices" we can count on with enough experience, strength and hope to be effective activists. Its going to take all of us who ARE available, acting in collaboration, to combat this epidemic of child abuse in America.
One of the hallmarks of a being "in recovery" or on a healing journey is our willingness and ability to talk honestly about our experiences, sharing our secrets. The first instance of this is terrifying for many, which is why choosing individuals and / or groups we can trust to be supportive is so important (usually because we know they, too, are former victims).
Together we can heal.
Together we can break the cycle of abuse.
Together we can help a child avoid what we went through.
And that's a first step ..
|Get yourself a few FREE Blue Ribbons -- just contact us
NAASCA's volunteer Blue Ribbon Campaign coordinator, Sherry DiFonzo, will send a small set of FREE Blue Ribbons and "info cards" (4 or 5 per person) and documentation that includes our topics, statistics, talking points, & National resources to anyone who asks. Write her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
She'll also be happy to provide ribbon kits in larger quantities at our cost, too .. to pass out to family, friends and neighbors or to distribute at local community events.
Remember you'll need to include your complete mailing address when requesting FREE Blue Ribbons & "info cards" (as well as for the larger kits) since they'll come to you through the US Post Office.
Download a FREE PDF or MS Word version of our topics, statistics, talking points, & National resources document to educate yourself or to use at meetings. Feel free to make copies.
Please contact NAASCA's volunteer Blue Ribbon Campaign coordinator, Sherry DiFonzo, with any questions: email@example.com
THANK YOU !!!