April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Published 12:15 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

To the Editor:
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Tennessee at www.cactn.org says every hour of every day there is an allegation of child abuse in Tennessee. Unfortunately, child abuse is a problem in every county and community across Tennessee. Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S. annually. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates more than 1,800 children die from abuse and neglect in the U.S. every year.
Abuse includes psychological harm, neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Signs of child abuse include malnutrition, poor hygiene and unexplained bruises. Tennessee state law requires anyone with suspicions of child abuse occurring to report it to police or the Department of Children’s Services. Please report child abuse or neglect to the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453. (1.800.4.A.Child)
Child abuse has increased because of more parents using drugs and more broken families. Computers have made it quicker and easier for evil men to find children to abuse. Parents need to look at all photos taken by their children because social media and magazines are encouraging all kids to sext, which is to send nude photos of themselves on the internet. Once evil men get these photos they blackmail the children to meet them and they lock them up and sex-traffic them. In Tennessee only one-third of households with internet access protect their children with filtering or blocking software. Tell your children the internet never forgets and is full of lying evil people. In 2021 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) processed over 29 million reports of child sexual abuse material, including videos and images. Online child pornography which is virtual child abuse has skyrocketed!
Child abuse hurts everyone because children who experience child abuse and neglect are nine times more likely to become criminals and twice as likely to end up in prison! Sexually abused children who report their abuse and are not believed or do not receive appropriate care are at greater risk for psychological, emotional, social and physical problems throughout their lifetime. Fabricated false sexual abuse reports are rare and constitute 8 percent or less of all reported cases. Most of these fabricated reports are made by adults involved in custody disputes or by adolescents. Great Christian counselors in our area are Art Webb and Brian Scott.
Abuse of children causes revulsion if anyone has a heart at all for God, His Word the Bible or the children who are being victimized. Pray that God will pour out His justice and pray for mercy and healing for the victims of abuse. Jesus said, “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” If you are abusing children you need to know that Jesus loves you and died for your sins and trust Jesus as Savior or you will soon know eternal abuse and pain forever in hell! Jesus can forgive and change anyone. Call 1-888-need-him. The good news is Jesus will soon end all child abuse and will take all children to heaven when He raptures Christians before the seven year tribulation.
Sometimes the truth is unpleasant. The Bible in Ephesians says do not only shun the “unfruitful works of darkness, but even expose them.” Years ago the Elizabethton Star printed the addresses and pictures of the 88 people with Carter County addresses on the Tennessee sex offender registry. The names should be printed again. There is evil in the world and getting worse. We can’t close our eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist, and we can’t fight it with our heads in the sand, thinking happy thoughts. “You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” It’s important to be a voice for the voiceless and for victims. Victims have said that abuse negatively effected them for decades after the abuse ended. Christian victims said only after they gave their life and past to Jesus, Jesus strengthened them, and delivered them from shame, suicidal thoughts, depression, bitterness and despair. The Bible says Jesus is near to the brokenhearted. Pain and heartache is real but Jesus with us in our pain and heartache is more real. The reality is Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted! Only Jesus can bring beauty from ashes and work all things for the good for those who love Him.

D.D. Nave
Elizabethton

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