From Reunion 4: Founder’s Corner – A Note from Mariska Hargitay
Welcome to our fourth edition of Reunion.
In this issue, we turn our attention to child abuse and neglect, and our collective efforts to heal, educate and empower future generations. As the mother of three kids, this issue is near and dear to my heart. And I think it will touch the heart of anyone who has ever looked at a child and thought, “I want nothing but the best for you.”
The unfortunate reality is that each year, hundreds of thousands of children are abused and neglected. In most cases, the perpetrator is someone close to them. Each day in the United States, more than four children die as a result of abuse and neglect. More than three-quarters of these children are under the age of five. More than 40 percent of young victims won’t live to see their first birthday. And over 15 million children witness violence and abuse in their homes each year.
Those who do survive the abuse are likely to experience lasting effects. Research has found that abused and neglected children are at least 25 percent more likely to experience problems including delinquency, teen pregnancy, low academic achievement, drug use and mental health issues.
At Joyful Heart, we believe that through intervention and holistic support services, education and awareness, community engagement and public-private partnerships, we can end the cycle of violence and abuse.
Through our collective participation in research studies and public awareness campaigns, Joyful Heart has long been involved in spreading awareness about the signs of child abuse and neglect, and in fostering public dialogue and engagement with this issue.
I will never forget the story that catalyzed my activism around this issue.
In January 2006, a 7-year-old girl named Nixzmary Brown was beaten to death in her home in Brooklyn, New York. She weighed just 36 pounds. She had missed weeks of school in the months leading up to her death. She often had cuts and bruises and vague explanations—another fall, another accident. Home was an unspeakable horror for Nixzmary—but somehow, so many caring adults in her community missed or ignored the signs of her abuse.
In 2008, Joyful Heart evolved its mission to include child abuse and neglect to reflect our growing education and awareness work in this area. Later that year, we partnered with Safe Horizon and Redbook magazine on a special child abuse awareness issue. Joyful Heart also joined Hope Shining, a national initiative to increase awareness, prevention and support services for children, families and communities affected by violence and abuse.
Most recently, we joined in a groundbreaking partnership with the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund in 2010 to study the feasibility of a comprehensive child abuse awareness campaign in the state of Hawai‘i—Joyful Heart’s birthplace. Through this partnership, Joyful Heart commissioned research demonstrating the prevalence of child abuse in Hawai‘i, and earlier this year, we launched the culmination of those efforts: the One Strong ‘Ohana campaign. It is the most comprehensive child abuse prevention and public awareness campaign in the history of the state of Hawai‘i.
Turning our attention and resources to this issue has been hugely rewarding. Through campaigns like One Strong ‘Ohana, we are seeing that when communities get involved, they can help to nurture and strengthen families and keep our children safe. At Joyful Heart, we believe child abuse is preventable, and that the best hope we have of realizing our vision of ending violence and abuse is to break the cycle before it begins.
I invite all of you to explore this magazine as we share it with you online over the course of the coming weeks, learn more about this important issue and then join me in our work to protect the most precious resource we have—our children.
|Print article||This entry was posted by MariskaHargitay on July 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm, and is filed under Child Abuse and Neglect, From Joyful Heart, JHF Board, News & Events, Our Issues, Reunion Magazine. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No trackbacks yet.
about 2 months ago - No comments
As you likely know, Wednesday marked the public launch of NO MORE, a national movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. The coverage of the event has been overwhelming, and we know many of you want to know more about the day’s events and this important movement. We’ve compiled some of the initial articles…
about 4 months ago - No comments
Why? We ask it all the time. It is the ultimate question resulting in what we hope to be the ultimate answer to bring us some form of closure and comfort.
about 5 months ago - No comments
As this year draws to a close, and as we enter this holiday season, our hope is that you would consider a gift that will broaden our reach, fortify our resolve, and fuel, strengthen and sustain our collective light.
about 6 months ago - 1 comment
“My wife and I were at a dinner in Washington DC earlier this year—it was a cancer event—and this woman sat down and said ‘Nice to meet you I’m so and so, and I’m a 30 year cancer survivor.’ That wasn’t all that she was, but that was simply part of what she had gone…
about 6 months ago - No comments
Join the “Your Voice Counts Live Twitter Chat” tomorrow, Thursday, November 15, from 3:00 – 3:30 pm ET.
about 6 months ago - No comments
For several days, one sentence has continued to trouble me: “I’ll never forgive you.” Those words were spoken by the man identified only as Victim 4 at the Jerry Sandusky sentencing on October 9, 2012. His words say several things to me. The most obvious is that he expresses the pain that comes from betrayal.…
about 8 months ago - 1 comment
Research indicates that male survivors—both gay and straight—are more homophobic than men who have not been victimized. Now, when I hear homophobic remarks by a man, I try to unearth the foundation to his stance. With patience and connection, he may be able to find a way out of this discomfort, and find out more about himself along the way.
about 9 months ago - No comments
When an opportunity arose for me to join the Boy Scouts as a teen, I jumped at the chance and throughout my time as a Scout, took great pride in my membership and learned from my own Scoutmaster, a role model in my life. But it’s come to light that hundreds of Scoutmasters broke the trust parents and scouts placed in them.
about 9 months ago - No comments
If we’re not ending violence against men, we’ll never end violence.
about 10 months ago - No comments
For years, researchers have been studying both the risk factors common among families experiencing abuse and neglect and those factors that protect families who are under stress. There is a growing interest in understanding the complex ways in which these risk and protective factors interact—within the context of a child’s family, community and society—to affect both the incidence and consequences of abuse and neglect.