Yesterday, I attended an Annual Child Maltreatment Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The keynote speaker this year was Victor Vieth, JD, and he brought a powerful and inspiring message about the possibility of ending child abuse by the year 2120. And he wasn’t just saying good stuff either. He wrote a paper that outlines a specific call to action against child abuse. You can read the paper online entitled Unto the Third Generation: A Call to End Child Abuse in the United States Within 120 Years,Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma (2004). The link to the website is here: http://www.untothethirdgeneration.com/
For any of you that work directly with children or families in the healthcare system, in communities, in schools, in the legal system, or just have an interest in working to end child abuse, read the paper. Learn about “Finding Words”, which is an investigative interviewing process, or a type of forensic interview for children suspected of having been abused. Join the fight against child maltreatment. Then, pass on the fight to the next generation.
I will revisit this subject from time to time here in The Mental Emotional Health Blog in order to spread the word and add my written voice to this essential movement.
I look forward to a day when I no longer see child abuse victims and their families in my office. But even if I do not live to see that day, I want to see the tide of this country turn against child abuse behaviors and the hidden pain children carry into their adulthood.