Each day I receive Google news alerts relating to "child sexual abuse." Volumes of alerts arrive, from all over the world, all kinds of stories that have some pertinence to CSA. Some days, when I open my inbox, faced with the sheer volume, knowing how heavy and draining the topics can be, I just don't want to face what's within. And some days, I don't. But, most of the time, I do, and the perusing of what is, often, at least 50 alerts begins.
This morning, to my surprise, I was greeted by "only" 40 alerts. News came from New Zealand, India, Utah, New York, Texas, Iowa and Ohio. Some stories were case specific, others about proposed legislation. Some lauded folks for their great prevention work, others criticized activists and legislators for focusing on topics other than the economy, for overstating the problem or being unjust. News comes from blogs or newspapers, magazines or organizations devoted to one side of an issue or the other. You never know just what you'll find, but, trust me, always, always, among the plethora of offerings, is at least one case of a child who has been sexually victimized.
And I guess that's why I'm writing this particular piece today. I avoided my alerts for the last three days; I didn't feel like I had the energy to read them or that the work I do could in any way counterbalance the enormity of the problem. I read them today, though, and quickly returned to the philosophy that drives me: no matter how many issues under the CSA umbrella I might read in a day, no matter how frustrated or impassioned I might become, for me, it always comes down to this: one child, one person, whose personal journey has been made forever more complex by having been sexually abused and he or she deserves our support and protection.
I have to remind myself that I have my mission, only one small piece of the overall war. I cannot tackle all of the issues surrounding CSA, l can only do my piece, piece by piece, day by day. Anything I do on a given day that makes the populace more aware, possibly making one child safer, makes it a good day. Taking a deep breath, working toward balance, not becoming all-consumed or enveloped by the enormity of the problem, for me, is essential. Writing this, I guess, is my way of putting a proverbial arm around my own shoulder and saying to myself that that is OK, despite all that remains to be done.
And so, the quest continues. One book, one blog post, one workshop, one conversation, taking us a little bit closer...