We should never be silent
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “abuse” is defined as the “cruel and violent treatment of a person or animal.” It’s a short definition and a short word that doesn’t truly convey the amount of horror it encompasses. This “cruel and violent treatment” can include domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, elderly abuse, animal abuse, financial abuse, human trafficking, and more. Any kind of abuse exists when someone wields cruel power over someone, who is often vulnerable, incapacitated, or weaker.
As a member of society, we can easily look away, convincing ourselves that it doesn’t impact our lives and it’s not happening directly to us or someone we love. But looking at statistics alone, we probably know someone who is being abused right now. According to the National Child Abuse Hotline, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds. In 2014, state agencies found an estimated 702,000 victims of child maltreatment, enough to pack 10 football stadiums. One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetime and one in five women will be raped at some point in their lives.
It is up to everyone to be vigilant about any signs of abuse and speak up when they suspect something. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” When seeing the “cruel and violent treatment”, we must always endeavor to stop it.
At Sirchie, we work with forensic nurses, district attorneys, and law enforcement around the world; professionals who routinely see abuse and play important roles to try and stop it. As their partner, we’re committed to raise awareness of any kind of abuse and to be able to recognize signs. By becoming more aware, we believe we’re always in a position to help protect those who are vulnerable.
Below, we’ve put together a list of resources and websites. We’ll always be adding more as we come across more information so please bookmark this page.
Related blog posts:
- We are all the first line of defense: Recognizing Human Trafficking
- In Lilac for Forensic Nurses Week
- Help Victims of Assault: How to View Aged/Faded Bruises & Contusions
- Customized Sexual Assault Evidence Kits: 4 Things to Know
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention:
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
- National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention:
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Children’s Bureau within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- CASA for Children (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
Resources to help combat human trafficking:
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- National Human Trafficking Hotline
- International Association of Human Trafficking Investigators
- Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Human Trafficking in North Carolina: Human Beings as a Commodity (2013 Report)
- Coalition Against Sexual Assault Human Trafficking Resources
- Project No Rest: North Carolina’s Response to Human Trafficking