It you regard child abuse and neglect as somebody else’s problem, you should be aware of how many “somebody elses” there are out there.
Consider the following national statistics, culled from studies cited on childhelp.org:
• 3 million cases, involving 6 million children are reported annually.
• Nearly five children died each day in 2012 as a result of abuse or neglect, up from less than four in 2000.
• 70 percent of abuse victims are under the age of 4.
• 80 percent of people who suffered abuse as children develop at least one psychological disorder.
• The cost of abuse and neglect is $124 billion annually.
Madison County and Indiana, certainly, are far from immune to the epidemic of child abuse and neglect. In 2011, the last year for which statistics are available, 27 children died from abuse and 13 from neglect in our state. Many of the victims were infants.
Some adults who suffered abuse as children still harbor misplaced feelings of personal guilt. Many want to avoid a perceived stigma attached to having been abused.
In short, the pain of the abuse far outlasts the initial physical, emotional or sexual agony. The pain can last a lifetime.
It’s easy for people to feel that they are powerless to stop such a pervasive problem. But, one by one, you can make a difference.
Tonight from 6 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight, the annual Bids for Kids auction will be conducted at Anderson University’s Reardon Auditorium. Proceeds from the televised auction will support the Children’s Bureau Exchange Club Family Resource Center’s child abuse prevention programs. The center at 1102 W. 14th St. serves nearly 1,000 Madison County families each year.
Last year, Bids for Kids raised more than $75,000. Organizers are hoping to top $80,000 this year. Large items such as furniture and televisions, and smaller items such as toys, DVDs and gift cards will be auctioned. There’s bound to be something you’d like to have and will fit your budget.