If you take a gander at the calendar in this issue of ABOUT, you’ll note that the month of April is bursting with activities in much the same way your yard is likely bursting with the green of new vegetation. After the cold months and the schizophrenic days of March, we want to celebrate April with its soft dewy mornings, fresh breezes, and the promise of warmer weather from here on out.
Even though it’s colored in pastels and adorned with Easter eggs, April also reminds us that it’s not all about flowers and sunshine. We celebrate the light because it brings us out of the dark.
April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month.
One of the most horrifying aspects of child abuse is right there in the tag — it’s borne by the most vulnerable among us. And the tragedy doesn’t end at childhood. Mental and even physical ailments ranging from PTSD, depression and anxiety to migraines, heart disease, and stroke can all be lingering symptoms of childhood physical or sexual abuse. With bad news inundating us every day, we often wonder aloud just what is wrong with our world. It’s clear that the root of our problems is very likely the sad and vicious cycles of child abuse stretching back generations before us.
But with increased awareness of abuse along with a deeper understanding of effective treatments, change is happening; it’s happening right now and right here in the River Valley.
Our cover story for April is the River Valley Child Advocacy Center in Russellville. Writer Hannah Butler spent some time with RVCAC staff along with a victim of child abuse and her mother, and she came away both heart-broken and filled with hope. Beautiful new beginnings can arise from the ashes of abuse, but not without the help of listening ears, comforting hands, knowledgable minds, and loving hearts. Thankfully, RVCAC offers all of this to those that need them most.