Sexual abuse: An American tragedy
SPRINGFIELD, MO. — The rash of child abductions and the media frenzy surrounding the Michael Jackson case have brought national attention to an American tragedy: An estimated 300,000 to 400,000 children are sexually abused each year in our nation.
I’ll never forget my first visit to a center for sexually abused children: the blank stares of kids victimized by their parents, the bunk beds with children hiding under their blankets, the heroic social workers who endeavored to serve as surrogate parents.
As I drove away from the center that evening, tears surfaced in my eyes. I was thankful these children were in a safe place and receiving food, clothing and shelter. But I was also grieved that they weren’t learning about Jesus. His name was nowhere to be found in the government-run facility. There were no Sunday School classes or believers on hand to teach them about the One who could heal their emotional scars and give them eternal life.
The experience awakened me to the desperate need for Christians to be informed, to do everything possible to thwart the enemy’s assault on innocent children. Many Americans don’t want to hear that children are being preyed upon because they believe ignorance somehow excuses them from responsibility. As believers, ignorance is not an option. If given the opportunity, we must rush to the aid of forsaken children. They need to know they are loved and valued. They need to know that Jesus died for them and He can give them a new life.
Here are five things you can do to combat abuse and rescue children from the clutches of their abusers:
1. Add kids who have suffered abuse to your daily prayer list.
2. Be informed; know the signs of abuse.
3. Keep your eyes open and report possible abuse to authorities.
4. Support local and national initiatives to combat these crimes.
5. Volunteer to work in your church’s Sunday School, Royal Rangers or Missionettes program.
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