Welcome to April. It is Child Abuse Prevention Month. People are supposed to raise awareness by displaying blue ribbons. If you really want to show off how conscious you are, you may buy a nice ribbon for $10. By this, you must not assume there is something magical in the color blue that brings child predators to their knees. The blue must be in a ribbon, because if you put blue light on a courthouse, that means you are aware and conscious about autism. (April is Autism Awareness Month in Henderson County.)

So, here’s your awareness training. Think of what it would be like to be a little, helpless, confused kid who is really abused (not just verbally assaulted for attempting to run in front of a speeding car or insisting on playing instead of doing homework while failing). Now multiply that by the 2006 Assistant US Attorney General Alice Fisher’s estimate of “’hundreds of thousands’ of individuals in the US committing child pornography crimes.”

Now that you’re done with your awareness training, why don’t you do something constructive? Grier Weeks tries to get government money refocused on protecting innocents from disgusting violence. He has been somewhat of a hero since his presentation to Asheville City Council a few years ago. It made me, Mayor Terry Bellamy, and I don’t know who-else cry to think of what sweet, little kids are going through. Weeks had this to say about the celebration. I am leaking it from another article because of its importance:

National Child Abuse Awareness Week used to be a month-long parade of hypocrisy, when we pretended as a nation to really care about child abuse. Today, it’s a shell of its former shell. In the news, child exploitation, abduction and abuse has mostly become entertainment. , , , The bottom line is this. Abused children don’t need awareness. They need adults who will fight for them.

If you are more interested in rescuing children than talking about it, maybe you could find some time to be a HERO.

So as not to end with a meaningful punch, you may be interested in hearing Buncombe County had the third highest number of domestic violence killings last year. At eight, the number is tragic, but statistically small enough to not be a reflection of county policy. But leaders have to show they are being responsive and accountable. They therefore formed a team (because we all know committees do nothing) to look at best practices (because copying is easier than thinking) and draw up a plan (as proof that government cares).

Tying it all together, I have no faith in a grand government scheme where the Great Ones try to make the Wee People fit into their programs. I do like the idea of getting children who are abused, in the true sense of the word, to safety.