silent child

By Tammi Pitzen, Director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Jackson County

I want to invite you to listen to the silence in observance of April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month.

I realize that may seem like an odd request, but it can be life changing. I have worked in the field of child protection for more than 23 years and I can tell you that child abuse is hushed into silence. “It” happens in every community. According to some statistics, four children die every day in this country as a result of abuse and neglect.

What sound do those children make? It is silence.

One out of four girls and one out six boys will be sexually assaulted before age 18. Most do not report. They are silent. In one year (2004), 1490 children in the United States died from neglect. They were silent.

Listen carefully. Listen intently. Listen closely. What do you hear through the silence?

I hear hope. I hear possibilities. I hear the quiet child asking for a voice. It is the adult’s responsibility to protect a child. Any child. Every child. You may be saying to yourself, “OK, I hear it… what do I do?”

The possible ways to help are limitless. If you are interested in volunteering, taking a child abuse prevention class or just learning more about the Child Advocacy Center’s services, please contact me at or call 541-734-5437. Ask for Tammi Pitzen or our Volunteer Coordinator, Kris Anderson.

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