It’s Child Abuse Prevention Month: time to stand up and step out. Join us online and in-person at San Francisco City Hall (April 4 @ 11AM) to show your support for the children of San Francisco. Every child deserves a safe and happy childhood; yet, our city continues to have one of the highest rates of child abuse in the Bay Area. While the widening economic divide in the City puts more children at risk for abuse, child abuse crosses all zip codes, socio-economic levels, ethnicities, and family structures.
Gabriella raised her hand and asked to speak with Ms. Brianna privately. At the end of the lesson, outside the 5th grade classroom in the elementary school hallway, Gabriella asked whether it was okay that her parents touched her private body parts, the parts that her swimsuit cover. Ms. Brianna reminded Gabriella of the differences between a safe and unsafe touch. Gabriella nodded with understanding and started talking about how uncomfortable she felt at home, and how much she disliked being touched by her parents.
Collecting and using data is one of the ways we improve our programs to help families and children. As one of two Data Managers at the Prevention Center, I have had the privilege of working closely with our staff who support families, empower children, and educate our community. Many of our findings are very positive — for example, more than 75% of families who are at high-risk for child abuse who receive individualized services, demonstrate improvement in family functioning after working with us for at least three months. However, analyzing our data also raised some good questions:
A mother walks in the door. She is tired, stressed, and trying to care for three kids. She does not remember having a loving mother herself. Her father worked all the time. He was not there to shield his daughter from her mother’s blows. Now this daughter is trying to be the loving mother she never had. It is not easy. She needs help.
On Thursday, 600+ people gathered together at the Fairmont Hotel to show their support for our one shared mission: to stop child abuse in our city. It was the 19th Annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon. I am proud that we raised essential funds to support the children and families we serve , but what really got me was the passion and excitement in the room. It was inspiring to see so many allies in one room dedicated to protecting children. It gives me hope that we can, in fact, end child abuse in this city. It gives me hope for the future of our community.
For the first time ever, San Francisco’s City Hall will be lit up blue on Tuesday, April 5 in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. City Hall’s blue dome will serve as a symbol of our city coming together to shine a light on child abuse and remind us that everyone has a part in strengthening families and keeping kids safe.
This article is cross-posted from Huffington Post, read the original here.
Over the past few weeks a barrage of articles, blog posts, and conversations have been posted, recorded, and published about the Super Bowl and sex trafficking. Some say that the “Super Bowl [is a] hotbed for human trafficking” while others rebut, saying there’s no evidence to prove it. Regardless of this debate, one thing is certain: the Bay Area community is thinking and talking about human trafficking — and that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because we know that this evil exists, but it’s only a hum in the background — of our minds, our society — which we all ignore. We rationalize by saying, it’s not our children, our community, or our problem. Thankfully the Super Bowl has brought it to the forefront of our consciousness, and it can’t be ignored any longer.
Continue reading It’s not about the Super Bowl
How many children should live in harm’s way?
We had to ask ourselves this very question last year as we undertook to create a five year Strategic Agenda. Our mission was, and will continue to be, to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact, but it was finally time to determine a number we would hold ourselves accountable to in the coming years — will we leave behind 50 percent of San Francisco’s children, or 25, or 10.