Why I’m an Advocate for Child Abuse Prevention
By Sharon C. Jenkins
“As the closet door closed and the darkness consumed her, she lost all hope of escape. What had she done that was so bad that caused her to warrant this prison sentence? This little mischievous girl had made the mistake of misbehaving. Her punishment: Eternal darkness – or so it seemed. In this place one minute seemed like an hour and an hour a day. Would anyone come to rescue her from this lifeless tomb? (Satan and his imps had set the stage for their wicked plan to trap this child who had escaped death once. But not again, this time it would be a slow and consuming death of hopelessness and despair. Their dark weapon of choice, fear …” Taken from “Beyond the Closet Door”
The “Boogie Man” was real to this little girl, as real as the adult who sentenced her to an inordinate punishment in the darkness of a closet. Somewhere in the midst of this tragic event, the little girl lost the sense of security she needed to feel safe and unfortunately, she had trouble recovering even as an adult. Long after her maturity erased the possibility of a “Boogie Man”, the fear remained. I am that little girl.
God gives us the gift of procreation to build His kingdom for righteousness sake on the earth. Children are a by-product of that gift and should be treasured as one of the most precious entities on the earth. In America we have forgotten the value of a child. Child porn is as available on the Internet as access to your bank account. Sex trafficking of minors is on an all time rise, worldwide and the current economic woes of our nation are an ever increasing factor that contributes to child abuse within our neighborhoods and within the bedrooms of our own homes. So what does a fallen world do about the thief label “abuse” that methodically robs the innocence of both little boys and girls worldwide? We become an informed community, we empower parents to be better parents, and we fall in love with children again as a nation and do whatever is necessary to “rescue” them.
Let’s look at some statistics:
- A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. (Can you imagine how many incidents of abuse are not reported?)
- Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4.
- 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.
- Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an organization called Child Welfare Information Gateway. This organization connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.
Their research has found that successful interventions must both reduce risk factors and
promote protective factors to ensure the well-being of children and families.
The following protective factors are linked to a lower incidence of child abuse and neglect. These factors are relevant in all socio-economic groups and cross all cultural boundaries. They are:
- Nurturing and Attachment – Bonding of the parent with the child in the early developmental stages.
- Knowledge of Parenting and of Child and Youth Development – Educating parents on how to successfully raise children and empowering them to do so effectively.
- Parental Resilience – Teaching parents how to bounce back after crises and enabling them to seek support if necessary.
- Social Connections – Eliminating the isolation that often comes with the risk factors associated with abuse. Having a social entity that fosters relationships in the community.
- Concrete Supports for Parents – Having social and community agencies that offer dependable, reliable, and effective support for parents that are accessible.
As a child abuse prevention advocate, I admonish you to take an active role in your community to prevent child abuse. When we value children, we value our future. Become a “rescuer” in your community. For more information about this topic visit www.childwelfare.gov, I care and so should you.
About the Author
Sharon Jenkins shares her very personal story of how she went from victim to victor over abuse. The book Beyond the Closet Door… is centered on her closet experience as toddler and how this experience of neglect has shaped every life experience she has had since then. She chronicles its effect from that point through her adulthood. This book is not about blame but perseverance. The silent scream of abuse continues to cry out in this nation and as an advocate for the abused she has made it her personal mission to help others child abuse adult victims “stop the hurting.”
Known locally as The Master Communicator, the author is proficient in communicating the plight of the abused child in this revelatory book. Ms. Jenkins is a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator. She is also the co-author of another inspirational book, Songs of Three Sisters, and an avid contributor to local magazines and newspapers. She is current a writer for Beauty Come Forth E-Magazine.
About the Book
Sharon C. Jenkins celebrates the demonstrated power of faith to heal adult child abuse victims. All sufferers of child abuse deal with emotional issues in the aftermath of their oppression, whether it is physical, sexual, verbal, or mental. This work of nonfiction furnishes the breath of life for hope found within the resurrected soul touched by Calvary’s cost and empowers them to find purpose for their once shattered lives
Book Review by Linda Fegins
Author Sharon C. Jenkins’s book Behind the Closet Door: Christ’s Rescue from Abuse is a creative, yet biblically based , and compassionate tool to aid in the healing process for those who have suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Ms. Jenkins describes her dark hours of abuse as well as shares the various stories from other real life persons who had the courage to describe their tales of abuse and fear without making the reader feel overwhelmed by the ugliness of this evil. She wisely has woven biblical scripture of hope and healing after each story. She focuses on how God loves those who have been victimize, that they are worthy of love and good treatment and how God can heal the hurt and help them overcome the negative effects of such abuse. Significantly she provides ample space for the reader to journal. In the journal section, after a chapter, she asked questions to allow those who may have suffered from abuse to write their story or to share their deep-seated pain.
April is National Child Abuse Month. If you know of a child that is being abused please contact your local authorities and or your local child abuse hotline. If you have been abused or know of someone please seek the Lord and pray for nothing is beyond the reach of the Lord, but take action by getting the spiritual and secular counseling necessary and read this book. The journaling aspects of the book will be helpful.
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For More Information
Visit the author online at: www.sharoncjenkins.com