Thursday, June 28, 2012

Defeating Darkness

Yesterday, I met with a couple of women who work for Darkness to Light, an amazing organization that is working to "empower people to prevent child sexual abuse." That's a huge and incredible mission, one that impacts the lives of so many people I know.

The reason we met was because of BookCrossing. D2L is seeking ways to get their message out into the community further, particularly during August, which is sort of their kick-off month each year for raising awareness and letting people know about resources and programs available. We had a great talk, in the courtyard of Kudu, and have come up with some ideas that might just work for them.

But the whole exercise got me thinking, which is a good thing, I suppose. I was not personally sexually abused, but two women, who I hold very dear, were, and by a perpetrator I actually knew when I was little. He was a man of contradictions, very gruff, but very devoted, and he scared the bejiggers out of me, enough so that I told my mother I didn't want to be alone with him.  I couldn't articulate why, but she seemed to understand, and told me that no one should ever have to be afraid to be with another person.

As I mulled over what I'd talked about with Liz and Sterling, an idea came to me.  We'd talked about ways to release books that had child sexual abuse as part of the story, to help raise awareness of the issue. D2L may be here in Charleston, but this organization has reached far beyond the local community, modifying  the advice to think globally; act locally. For them, local is global. They've got training sessions set up internationally to help raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse. My world, too, may be local, but thanks to the internet, I can easily and quickly communicate with friends and family thousands of miles away.

My idea, that is still being fine-tuned, is to create a book release challenge through BookCrossing, for members to release books that in some way reflect to the mission, purpose, or any way they can relate, of D2L. I would ask that each book have in a journal entry a blurb (which I could provide, with the assistance of D2L) and a link for further information. I think it could be an amazing challenge, promoting awareness of a cause that needs to be brought into the light, and totally extinguished.

Because, as Bumma said, no person should ever have to be afraid to be with someone else.

PS Today is the third anniversary of her passing. She is still with me, guiding, teaching, comforting, and making me smile.

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