June 24, 2015
Greetings followers, I hope you are enjoying your summer! Sorry for the long break between blogs but Shattered Canvas has been out and about, making an impact in our communities, providing education and connecting to survivors, hearing your voices! We have connected to children by providing activities to them to have a voice! We are moving our positivity train in the right direction, so climb aboard!
Blog – June 24, 2015
Your cell phone is playing the sounds of a beautiful spring morning; time to hit that alarm and start your day! Driving to work it chimes, someone is calling! It is beeping, you have a voice mail! Now it is buzzing, you have a new text message! It is playing the song “Taking Care of Business,” the 1973 song by Bachman Turner Overdrive, yep; you have a prospective new connection on LinkedIn. A whistling sound, Facebook, a new juicy story or someone liked your post! You know the drill, you don’t even have to think about it, you pull that phone out of your purse, your pocket, or that case attached to your belt. You pulled over in rush hour traffic just to check that text message (hopefully), thank goodness you have blue tooth for the phone calls! You inconspicuously look down at your lap during meetings, to hopefully catch a glimpse of the latest connection to reality. You may not want to admit it but you take your cell phone into the bathroom with you and even to bed at night!
WHY?….Because the thought of missing a message, a call, your friends new puppy, the latest joke, new summer fashion updates, CNN news, a business article, or blog post, TOTALLY stresses you out, somebody else might know something before you! You also watch horrific tragedies on television, year after year, day after day, you watch a recent airline crash for weeks, you read about your favorite sports team each day in the paper, or on your home page, you complain about the local snow coverage being on the television for 24 hours straight but yet you watch it! No one wants to be unconnected to their cell phone, television, PC, tablet, iPod, or any electronic device because OMG you might just miss something! Take a minute and look around the next time you are out in public, look to your left, look to your right, look in front and in back of yourself. 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males are sexually abused prior to their 18th birthday; these are the national facts…so I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but…
YOU are MISSING something!
This something is unfortunately not blowing up your cell phones with beeps, buzzes, whistles and it is not on television. Did you know that more children die in the U.S. every year than die in a single tragic event? If your cell phone could only be programmed to play a lullaby every time a child was sexually abused or died from abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional) you would no longer wish to be connected to that gadget that keeps you so connected. According to some of the top reporting agencies, such as the National Justice System, National Violence Center, CDC, and Departments of Mental Health and Hygiene approximately FIVE children die each day of abuse, 80% are under the age of four.
I decided to look at the 2014 Census reports of my state of residence; Maryland. The report showed approximately 5, 976, 407 persons living in Maryland, 23% of those individuals were under the age of 18 years old. Statistically, that equals 271,328 children under the age of 18 that were sexually abused in Maryland, not to mention other types of abuse. The reporting agencies also report that only 12% to 30% of child sexual abuse cases are actually reported. I bet you are saying “How can that be true”? Well I only have one request when you are connected to your electronic devices today or tonight, use that search engine to see for yourself!
Educate yourself, this is one half of the cure, advocate for better education programs (this is not stranger danger), talk about this, and yes be comfortable saying the word “sex”. Read, take the time, it is the most important busiest moment you will have. Invite Shattered Canvas to do a program or speak at your church, community meeting, business, or your child’s scout group, soccer team or Sunday school! Shattered Canvas does not provide any offensive material; we provide art supplies, mediums and teach storytelling to children, teaching them to have a voice! We provide many adult and adolescent educational programs that include sexual and child abuse, journaling, mindfulness, stress, art therapy and psychotherapy, and all topics that are mitigating factors of abuse. Support Shattered Canvas, Inc. by holding a journal or art supply drive at your business, community center, school, or neighborhood, attend a Shattered Canvas class or event, show children and adult survivors they are worthy and that you care.
Save tax and health care dollars, treat the underlying cause of many persons who suffer from alcoholism, drug abuse, anorexia, and bulimia; not just the symptoms. Help these survivors to come out of hiding, to get the help they may need, and not feel stigmatized. Mental health is a continuum of illness just like any other illness; break the silence, acknowledge the wounds; this is the other half of the cure. I challenge each of you to text this to a friend tonight, talk about it over during your morning coffee, look at the Shattered Canvas webpage and Facebook page and not be intimidated to click like, share a story, or add a comment; this is our community, our counties, our states, our world, our future, and our children! I guarantee you know someone that has been abused, test this out, bring it up, you will see!
Together, Two hands, One Heart…we can save the next child and support the next survivor!
Contact me personally if you would like Shattered Canvas to speak, provide education or if you or your business can hold a journal/art supply drive!
Journals and art supplies are the voice of survivors; they are the tools they need NOW!
With sincere gratitude,
Executive Director, Shattered Canvas, Inc.