Welcome! If you are reading this, my guess is that you are someone who cares about the children in our community and in your life. You might be wondering how you can protect your own children from things like sexual abuse or how you can help protect other children from physical abuse or neglect. You may just be parent who is looking for some support as you complete the incredibly challenging job of raising children. We are so glad you are here and are primary message is that as terrible as child abuse is there are small things that we all can do that can make a big difference in the lives of the children in Tippecanoe County and beyond.
To provide a little background, TCAP (Tippecanoe Child Abuse Prevention Council) is a chapter of PCAIN (Prevent Child Abuse Indiana). TCAP is run completely on volunteer power as we do not have a paid staff, but instead have an incredibly active and dedicated board of directors and volunteers. Our board comes from a variety of backgrounds and we work in social services, the private sector, and education. While part of our mission is to raise awareness about child abuse, the most exciting part of our mission is to find ways to stop abuse before it ever occurs. We do this in a variety of ways from hosting community events, providing education to parents, hosting workshops, to starting this blog.
When I talk about my work with TCAP, more than once, people have asked me if the work is depressing. My honest answer is no. Of course, when I see the statistics, see a news report of another child who has been neglected or abused, or see firsthand the struggles that so many parents in our community face as they try to raise their children, I am saddened, and often angered. What I love about TCAP though is that instead of dwelling in what is wrong, we focus on what we can make right. The longer I have worked with TCAP the more I have learned about the structural and situational factors that contribute to child abuse which include economics, lack of knowledge of child development, stress, and unstable living situations. These are huge problems, but they are things that we slowly but surely can work to address one child, one parent, and one family at a time. If at an event even one parent learns how to more safely put her baby to sleep or another parents hears about a free afterschool program for the first time, it feels like a success. Because of this, my work is not depressing, but instead fueled by hope and I am constantly encouraged by seeing the selfless actions that so many people from TCAP and other community agencies take to better protect our community’s children.
I hope that you will continue to follow our blog and become a part of TCAP whether by simply following us on Facebook, attending one of our events, or even volunteering with us. Child Abuse of not a an individual family problem, but it is a community problem, and it is only with everyone in our area coming together that we will be able to truly to make a difference.