After more than two months, the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners is now etched in our minds forever. Whether we witnessed the event during the wall-to-wall TV coverage, heard the joyous outpouring of emotions over the radio, or drew-in the newspaper for a closer view over our morning coffee; their rescue from that dark hole is a triumph of the human spirit.
At first, I thought these men had little chance for survival and they must have known in their heart of hearts that their rescue was a long shot. Now, think for a moment how we would have responded if it had been children trapped some 1500 feet below the earth’s surface.
No amount of money or technology would have been spared. The world would mobilize, heads of state would confer, the media would spur us on to not rest for one moment until the children were safe. Yet, each day in America, children are allowed to remain trapped in the darkest, most lonely and unforgiving place that exists. That black hole is the world experienced by abused and neglected children.
More than 10 years ago, I first referred to child abuse and neglect as The Darkest Secret. Unfortunately, today it still is.
Recently, a bright and college-bound 18-year-old told me she felt that she could tell no one about her stepfather’s regular visits to her bedroom, starting when she was 12 and not ending until she was 17. That was her darkest secret!
As I watched a 10-year-old boy repeatedly wipe tears from his eyes he told his therapist that the reason he drew a picture of his home with no windows was because he was ashamed to think that anyone could look inside and see how his mother and her boyfriend cruelly and brutally harmed him for the slightest of infractions. So, with crayon in hand, he created a world with no windows. That was his darkest place!
Last year, more than 11,000 children were abused and neglected in Colorado. Is it worth an investment in the work of The Kempe Foundation to help these children? Yes! And it is the now-stilled voices of those *32 Colorado children who died from abuse and neglect in 2008 that implore us to rescue those here at home who reside in the dark and lonely places.
Please, as we celebrate the momentous occasion of the miners’ rescue…don’t forget the children.
Your support today may well rescue a child tomorrow.
Director, Communications and Marketing
The Kempe Foundation
P.S. Your gift today in any amount will help us support the life-changing work of The Kempe Center, a world-leader in the fight against child abuse and neglect.