Now that we’ve passed TAX DAY, let’s get down to celebrating! If you’re wondering what we’re celebrating, trust me, there’s more than I can cover in these few sentences. Maybe celebrate isn’t the right word, perhaps it’s more raising awareness to inform your future actions. That’s my job—raising awareness– because once we are in the know, we can’t—key word—can not, un-know it. So…
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the urgency to become more aware has never been greater. Young men, old men, soldiers, college students, girls, boys, infants–all have all been victims of this abuse of power, crime of opportunity, and violence. Every week some innocent becomes a statistic, either by being assaulted or becoming a perpetrator. “Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.” Source: www.justice.gov)
Do this: (1) Be aware of your surroundings; (2) Listen and pay attention to what’s going on in your home, your child’s school, the community, and if you see something, say something. Human trafficking and molestation are real and seemingly getting worse every day. Do all you can to stop this scourge. (3) Educate your sons and daughters about the power of NO and discuss potential danger spots and scenarios so they can protect themselves.
April is also National Volunteer Month and that means that in 2015, 62.6 million folks performed non-paid service either through or for an organization. Volunteers ROCK! Volunteerism is a wonderful way to invest yourself in something worthwhile. Serving without the expectation of pay just makes sense.
Whether it’s participating in community clean-up, mentoring, ringing the Salvation Army bell during the holidays, helping at the soup kitchen, making beds and caring for worn and weary feet at the shelter, polishing nails at the nursing home—whatever you ‘re investing your time and energies in, be real clear: IT MATTERS big time. If you’re too busy to donate an hour or two a week, you’re probably too busy.
Don’t know where to start? Begin with what you enjoy, then look around your community. Find that thing that makes your heart sing, sign up, do as much or little as you want and get busy humming!
April is also National Autism Awareness Month. Visit the Autism Society (www.autism-society.org) to get the facts about this condition. Be in the KNOW.
Enjoy the April showers—May flowers are not far behind. Be blessed and keep shining!
Just a statistic or two:
“The Defense Department’s annual Sexual Assault and Response Program Office (SAPRO) report to Congress showed that in Fiscal Year 2014 the military received a total of 6,131 reports of sexual assault. The number represented an 11 percent increase over FY 2013, but the SAPRO report said the increase was a positive sign showing that more victims were willing to come forward to report the crime. (Source: www.justice.gov)