In 1983 April was proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month by the president. I don’t know how April was chosen but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that we have a month where there is an extra effort made to stop this awful behavior that is so rampant in our society.
According to Children’s Bureau (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) there were 686,000 children abused or neglected in the fifty U.S. states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Of those, 1640 died. Many of those could have been prevented with good community programs in place such as early childhood development programs, parental support, and maternal mental health.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides some good information on how to help your community prevent child abuse.
This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. I have spent a great deal of my life fighting this battle. I worked as a child advocate for many years and I continue to do what I can to prevent child abuse. This is a cause you can join as well. There are many organizations joining in this fight this month. I noticed when I stopped at In N Out Burger (my favorite burger joint) they have a program this month where they are collecting donations and matching 3 to 1 whatever they collect up to $250,000. Many other businesses are doing similar things. This is one way to help, but for those of you who can, getting personally involved is the best way.
Teresa Burrell, Author, Attorney, Advocate
Author of The Advocate Series
I finally completed my A to Z blog and it’s time to start a new one. So, I decided to “Advocate Across America.” My plan is to tour all fifty states with my novel, THE ADVOCATE, and blog as I go. As new books in the series are published, they’ll go with me as well. I know this tour will not be an easy task or be completed any time soon, but I’m up for the challenge and I’m excited about seeing my book in every state.
My plan is to have an event such as a Meet and Greet in a bookstore, or a speaking event at a service organization or library, a discussion with a book club, or a radio or television interview…whatever happens to fit into the schedule. At the same time I’m hoping to help build an awareness about child abuse in America.
This is my call to action. If you’re interested in having me speak in your city, please send me an email to email@example.com. I’ll do everything I can to try and make it happen. I’ll also give notice on this blog when I schedule a city so if you’re in the area you can attend or schedule another event with your book club, bookstore, or organization.
First stop is Sarasota, FL the last week of February. Next, I’ll be in Columbia, SC on February 27th and 28th for the South Carolina Book Festival. In June, I’ll be in Chicago, IL and Bay City, MI. July, August, and September I’ll be covering quite a few states. I’ll keep you posted.
Where would you like to see THE ADVOCATE?
The “Z” word is zero…zero days left in 2009. That leaves only hours to complete this year’s resolutions. It’s time to dump the old list and make a new one, and be realistic this time. Then starting January 1, 2010, zero in on one major resolution at a time and make it happen!
I always make a “New Year’s Resolution” list and although I don’t accomplish everything, I manage to get a lot of it done. I even break it down into categories. I have my “physical” list, that’s what I want to do to get into shape. I have my “emotional” list, the things I want to work on to feel better about myself. I have my “financial” list, my “make life better for others” list, my “family” list, and I always have a “travel” list, stating the places I want to go. Some of these lists overlap. Before I start to make my new list I take my resolutions from the year before and look at the things I’ve accomplished and the things I have not. Then I take the things from the year before that are still important to me and put those down first, usually with some revisions, making them more realistic or giving them a higher priority.
This year one of my goals is to speak to as many groups, in as many states, as I can about child abuse. Another is to take those extra pounds off I just put on for the holidays. My novels are a big part of this year’s resolutions. I have sales numbers set for The Advocate. I have editing and publication goals for my second novel (which still needs a name). And I plan to complete the third novel in the series.
Okay, so maybe I’m a little anal about this resolution thing, but however you do it, it’s time to zero in and get started! Do you have a resolution you are particularly determined to accomplish this year?
Happy New Year!