I was more than a little shocked and saddened when I read the news in an email this week about the Louisiana chapter of Prevent Child Abuse shutting its doors.
First and foremost, because, as the article gets into, the hard work of abuse prevention doesn’t seem to really move the needle when it comes to raising funds, which, sadly, says a lot about our current priorities. In my own humble opinion, I think the fact that prevention is not one simple thing, but a combination of a number of things, advocacy, education, counseling, etc. and that some of that includes working with parents to help them learn not to abuse makes it far less attractive for fundraising. It seems like we are far more likely to give to a website that shares the sad story of an abused child than to pay for the programs that might create fewer abused children to start with.
But, as I said, that’s just my opinion, and since I am still relatively new to Louisiana, I’m hoping to learn more about any reasons why this didn’t work here when the same organization seems to work elsewhere.
Secondly, I’m also saddened on a personal level. PCAL was an organization that I learned about somewhat recently, and one of my goals for 2019 was to get more involved, using not just my blog and social media, but also the skills I’ve learned over the years as a trainer and public speaker to advocate for abuse survivors and mental health. That avenue is now closed, so I’ll be on the lookout for other organizations and opportunities to put those skills to good use. (Anyone looking for a podcast guest, or know of any needs for speakers in the Baton Rouge area?)
Finally, let me close this by saying that this closure doesn’t mean the end of child abuse prevention and the support of victims in Louisiana. At least, it shouldn’t. We may not have this resource going in to 2019, but we are all here and all capable of doing something. We can mourn the loss, but we should also be brainstorming new ways all of us can contribute. I hope the rest of you in Louisiana, and everywhere else, will join me in doing that in 2019.