This April We Rise Against Child Abuse
Each April over my radio career our teams have always tried to come up with the best April fools joke. I was listening to Moug and Angie talk about a station that pretended to do an underground theme park as a stunt. I'll raise my hand because I was part of those before.
Everything changed about 14 years ago when a little girl died due to the most tragic child abuse case I had ever come across. It was reading that story on a couch in Spokane, Washington that changed my life forever. April is child abuse prevention month.
It's been over a decade that I have stayed awake over 8 days without sleep, run 7 marathons in 7 days, fast on billboards, and cycle to break the cycle with the community. Part of my life has surrounded that silent majority of people stuck in abusive situations that feel forgotten. The stories I've heard over the years are worse than any nightmare you could dream up. I promise.
We witnessed the horrific deaths of Tylee Ryan, J.J. Vallow, Emrik Osuna, and more that scroll through our news feeds. I've been following what happened to 9-year old Emrik and it's moments like that I struggle. The parents just beat this kid to make sure he learned lessons. The mother just hit him with pans to prove a point.
Robert Manwill was 8-years old when his mother's boyfriend killed him, stuffed rocks in his pockets, and dumped him in an irrigation canal. This all while the entire city walked hand in hand looking for him. The mom and her boyfriend stood in front of cameras asking for the community help know they murdered Robert.
These are just a few stories that have gone public. Unfortunately, the scariest list is the cases not reported.
I made one deal with the manager at Mix 106 when I joined the team. The child abuse prevention campaign I've done for years comes with me. The response was simple, "Done. Child abuse prevention is something we can all support."
We will do our part to stop abuse and let everyone in Idaho know that, "It shouldn't hurt to be a child." The campaign we're about to launch will change lives with your help.
So, let's rise up and be ready. We will be unveiling a massive child abuse prevention campaign that will be historic this April. In the meantime, if you see something - say something.