Child Abuse wasn’t even recognized until 1873 when the first case of child abuse was reported. Mary-Ellen was nine years old when a church worker, Mrs. Etta Wheeler, found Mary-Ellen shackled to her bed, grossly malnourished, scarred and badly beaten.
Appalled by what she saw, Mrs. Wheeler went to the authorities to report this horrifying child abuse.
Mary-Ellen was removed from her abusive home where she was placed in foster care with Mrs. Wheeler’s family. From that day forward, Mary-Ellen thrived. She went on to marry, have two daughters and lived to the age of 92. Her life changed dramatically because Mrs. Wheeler cared enough to do something about her abusive situation.
Every child deserves a life free of fear and abuse. We must make each day an “awareness day” where we seek out an understanding of what child abuse is, why it happens, how to recognize when someone is being abused, where to go for help and be willing to respond to the unheard cries of the children.
The safety of children is everyone’s responsibility. After all, it shouldn’t hurt to be a child.