[Content Note: Today’s post deals with a very difficult topic, specifically child abuse. While I will do my absolute best to leave out any and all specific details in terms of the nature of various ways of abuse, there will be mention of them in any case. If you need to give today’s post a miss, definitely do so. If you decide to move forward with reading today’s post, and it brings up difficult and/or upsetting feelings for you, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline if you’re in the U.S. For those visiting from across the pond, this site will bring up resources in your local area. If you know a child who needs help, reach out to Childhelp in the U.S., as well as this network of child helplines for those across the pond. If you know of a child in immediate danger, call 911 or your area’s equivalent.]
[EDIT 2-22-2022: Updated link to Childhelp, as previous link was no longer working.]
While offbeat and wacky observances are always fun, today’s is more serious: National Be Someone Day 2021. This got its’ start as an outreach initiative of Project Harmony, and while it isn’t a formal national observance per se, it’s still important, whether or not it’s got the presidential or congressional recognition. Because this is a very serious message, I’ve decided to make today’s observance post a Special Report instead.
Child abuse is a pervasive problem, and it doesn’t discriminate in terms of who it affects. Anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender identity, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, racial identity, or locale. No matter what the differentiators are, or what it looks like, one thing’s the same: it’s wrong, and nobody deserves it.
If this is an issue that hits close to home for you, regardless of the dynamics, know that I see you and I believe you. I want you to know that what happened to you was wrong, and that you never once deserved whatever they did to you. Whatever happened to you, it wasn’t ever your fault. This is all on the person (or worse, people) who made the choice to exploit the power dynamic and harm someone else.
In the movies, the main character is either someone close to the person it’s happening to, or it’s happening to the MC themselves. We see this play out in some of the ABC Afterschool Specials, the first one being from 1983, 1985, and 1988. The first two are links to videos on YouTube, with Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom being the first one, and Don’t Touch being the second. The third one, Terrible Things My Mother Told Me, doesn’t seem to be available online anymore, so I’ve linked it to the Wikipedia article instead.
Child abuse is also a theme from time to time in the original Law and Order series, and is a recurring theme in Law and Order SVU. Without a Trace had at least one episode about it, and so did The Guardian, both of which were shows I also lived for in high school.
In the movies, we see it in Kindergarten Cop, where a kid in Mr. Kimble’s class is a victim, and Mr. Kimble finds out about it. He then beats the crap out of the perpetrator outside, which the perpetrator totally deserved. Obviously there are other movies about it, but this is what comes to mind for me at the moment. Any others that come up for you, definitely drop ’em in the comments below, and we can talk about ’em there.
There’s also books about the different ways child abuse can look like, so much so that it’s become sort of a genre inception of sorts. The one that comes to mind for me is A Child Called It. I first read it in 8th grade when I picked it up at Target. I was 13 at the time, and I swear, that book seems to be a popular read among middle school and high schoolers. I even remember, vaguely, but remember in any case, seeing Dave Pelzer on one of the talk shows when I was in elementary school. I believe it was 3rd or 4th grade when I saw it. He was talking about the book, and what I took away from it was that something bad happened to him. I was probably too young to be watching that episode, but I was waiting for my usual after-school shows to come on.
Speaking of Dave Pelzer, I got to thinking about him the other day on my bike ride home from the pool and the dollar store, and I wonder how he’s holding up these days. I know he’s gone on to become a volunteer firefighter last I checked, and I know there’s plans in the works for a movie based on his life. BTW, Dave, if you ever see this, hi!
Anyways, this is also an issue that hits closer to home for me than I care to remember or admit. For the sake of everyone involved, whether they actually did it, looked the other way, or did nothing to help, I won’t get into it or the nature of it. I will mention that it didn’t happen at my house. It happened somewhere else. In any case, it’s way too upsetting. They know who they are, they’re ancient history in my life by now, they know they done fucked up, and that’s something whatever higher power they believe in to deal with when all is said and done.
I volunteered at an elementary school as a tutor back in college, and saw at least one instance where there was emotional abuse going on. For the sake of the child it was happening to, as well as their family, I won’t say the names or gender identities. More importantly, it’s their story to tell and speak to, not mine. I remember seeing this child a total emotional wreck in the school counselor’s office, and I wanted to help so badly. Their teacher told me they were dealing with it, and the school counselor told me that there were some things going on outside of school for them that shouldn’t be.
Years later, I would learn of the terms to describe what I suspect to have been going on in that child’s life, and I still think about them. I hope they’ve found a way out of what was happening to them, and I hope that they’re able to go no contact with their perpetrator.
I also remember a former neighbor from several years ago who had kids, and I would often hear screaming coming from inside the house. The kids would behave in weird, and sometimes unlikable ways. At one point, they even engaged in law-breaking doings, and at least one of them got involved in a gang. Looking back, it was their response to what was going on in their lives behind closed doors, but I would make those phone calls to the agencies who could help them. Aside from a few visits, it didn’t appear like anything came of it.
They’ve long since moved, and so did we. I still think about the child from the school, and the former neighbor kids. Even if I wasn’t a mandatory reporter at the time, I still would’ve made that call, and have made calls regarding instances I suspect that involve kids.
I still do make those calls, both for kids and vulnerable adults, and I always will.
I know firsthand how tempting it is to intervene physically and threaten an abuser in real life. But readers, I can’t encourage you strongly enough against that.
So what can we do about it? First things first, we can learn the signs. They may not always be obvious at first, but the signs are there. Connecting the dots is the hard part, but these signs can clue us into whether or not a child is in a bad place in their lives. Not all of them will be there, but in any case, if you have a feeling that something is going on in a child’s life that shouldn’t be, make that call to the authorities or your area’s dedicated hotline.
Second of all, when a child does come forward to us about something happening to them, we should always believe them! Kids are shyt-poor liars when push comes to shove, and let’s be honest, they didn’t learn this crap from Sesame Street or Baby Shark. We should also make it clear to them that what’s happening to them is wrong, no matter what the jerk doing it to them told them or convinced them otherwise. Nobody has the right to harm anyone, children or adults, no matter what happened to them or who said whatever to them that one time.
We should also emphasize that what’s happening to the child is NEVER their fault. Nobody deserves abuse, and that includes the child who came forward with their story. Make that phone call, and if the child’s in immediate danger, contact the police as well.
Let’s all be someone to a child (or really anyone) in need of help, whether we’re mandatory reporters or not.
Over to you, readers. I know this is a lengthier post than usual, and probably a lot to take in all at once, so if you made it this far, mad props to you! Have you ever seen or witnessed abuse going on? How did you respond? Sound off below, and let’s talk.
On July 21, adults are encouraged to take some time off their day to make a difference in a child's life by committing to reporting child abuse. People take pledges to recognize, report, and rehabilitate a child who is facing abuse.What national is it today? ›
International Day of UN Peacekeepers.What is the national day on July 21? ›
NATIONAL JUNK FOOD DAY - July 21 - National Day Calendar.What is national all or nothing day? ›
U.S. National All or Nothing Day is celebrated every July 26 to encourage people to give their all to every task or dream they embark on. This can either be a sport, an assignment, a friendship, or even a Crossfit workout. The key is to break the limit your mind has set and allow yourself to take risks.How do you celebrate who you are? ›
- Take a break. ...
- Write a gratitude letter—to yourself. ...
- Unleash your inner child. ...
- Have a “celebrate us” gathering. ...
- Give yourself the gift of extra time. ...
- Give yourself a social media shout out. ...
- Start a joyful ritual. ...
- Put some happy in your workspace.
Dubbed the Spirit of the Union, the date marks the unification of all seven Emirates into one nation. From dazzling firework displays to elaborate parades and glittering ceremonies, UAE National Day is a time when locals and expatriates gather together to celebrate.Is today National Compliment day? ›
National Compliment Day on January 24th offers a wonderful way to brighten someone's day or to give credit for a job well done! Give an extra compliment annually on January 24th and any time one is deserved.What national day is today October 22? ›
National Color Day focuses on the impact color has on each of us. The observance takes place each year on October 22nd.Is today National Best Friend day? ›
When is National Best Friends Day 2023? The friends we have chosen are cherished and celebrated on National Best Friends Day on June 8.What is October 21st National Day? ›
It's International Day of the Nacho, International Sloth Day, National Sweetest Day, National Apple Day, Count Your Buttons Day… and much more!
NATIONAL AMERICAN RED CROSS FOUNDER'S DAY | MAY 21
On May 21st, National American Red Cross Founder's Day marks the anniversary of the American Red Cross. Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and became the first president of the organization.
It's National Spumoni Day, Poet's Day, National Senior Citizens Day… and much more!What is the most weird national day? ›
- International Nose Picking Day. ...
- Night of the Radishes. ...
- Wikipedia Day. ...
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- National Cleavage Day. ...
- Bean Throwing Day. ...
- Ferris Wheel Day. ...
- Chocolate Mint Day.
In the United States of America, each of the 50 states has a national day.What national day is 9 24? ›
Today is National Cherries Jubilee Day.Why you should celebrate someone? ›
Celebration creates joy
Celebrate someone or something—anything! The gratitude you feel as a result of celebrating others, or creation in general, will help you to be less materialistic and therefore more easily satisfied with what life brings your way. It's a fact that gratitude actually creates joy within our souls.
It gives us a way to feel good about ourselves, and our accomplishments. When we celebrate we are reinforcing something important to us. Without it we simply maintain the status quo and candidly have a lot less fun.Why is it important to celebrate who you are? ›
Celebrating yourself means taking the time to be genuinely grateful for your life. Many of us have limiting beliefs about ourselves in at least one area of our lives, which results in a decrease in confidence. The more that you celebrate yourself, the more your confidence raises.How do you celebrate National Day at work? ›
- 1: Dress It Down.
- 2: All Day Bingo.
- 3: Talent Show.
- 4: Movie Day.
- 5: Murder Mystery.
- 6: Special Treats or Catered Lunch.
- 7: Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
- 8: Office Trivia.
- International Coaching Week.
- National Bike To School Day.
- National Cherry Cobbler Day.
- National Graduation Tassel Day.
- National Idaho Day.
- Pack Rat Day.
- Cindy Smock's birthday.
- Kandi Burruss's birthday.
Each year on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day grows in popularity. It is celebrated by individuals, groups, and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness.How do you praise someone quotes? ›
- You are more fun than anyone or anything I know, including bubble wrap.
- You are the most perfect you there is.
- You are enough.
- You are one of the strongest people I know.
- You look great today.
- You have the best smile.
- Your outlook on life is amazing.
- You just light up the room.
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National Creativity Day
This special day was founded to honor and celebrate everyone who creates new things each day.
NATIONAL WHITE CHOCOLATE DAY - September 22 - National Day Calendar.What is Nov 22 National Day of? ›
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History of Kiss Your Mate Day
Kiss Your Mate Day is celebrated on April 28 each year.
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NATIONAL MOLE DAY - October 23 - National Day Calendar.
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Today is National Maritime Day and Harvey Milk Day.What national day is 16th May? ›
NATIONAL BARBECUE DAY | May 16
Each year on May 16 we celebrate National Barbecue Day in the United States.
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Each year on April 21st, National Kindergarten Day honors the birthday of the man who started the first Kindergarten. Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) is credited with starting the very first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837.What to do on National Love people day? ›
National Love People Day Activities
Share a resource or gift with someone in need. Offer to babysit so your friend can go out on a date night with their spouse. Write a check for cancer research. Give blood at a blood bank because it's one of the best ways to express to people you don't even know the love of life.
U.S. National Boyfriend Day falls on October 3. It's a day to let your boyfriend know how much he means to you. National Boyfriend Day reminds everyone with a boyfriend to take special notice of that special someone and how they make your life better.
Singles Awareness Day (or Singles Appreciation Day) is celebrated on February 15 each year. It is an unofficial holiday celebrated by single people.What day was National BAE day? ›
When is National Boyfriend Day? National Boyfriend Day is always celebrated on October 3. It is still unknown why the month of October and the date has been chosen to celebrate National Boyfriend Day. But most people believe the holiday was created to give boyfriends an equal day of appreciation as girlfriends.What happens in National Girlfriend Day? ›
As this day is all about hanging out with your girlfriends the main tradition is to spend some quality time with your friends. People tend to spend National Girlfriend Day having fun with their girlfriends in and doing activities that they have previously bonded on together.Why is October 3rd special? ›
Why is October 3 the mean girls' day? The special day is recognized since it is mentioned in the movie during a scene where Lindsey Lohan's Cady is asked what day it is by her crush Aaron. She responds, "October 3."Is there a relationship day? ›
It could be said relationships define who we are as a species. How about we start celebrating Relationship Day every February 14 by reminding ourselves and each other just how precious our relationships are – even when we sometimes forget to experience them.What is National Kiss Your Boyfriend day? ›
History of Kiss Your Mate Day
Kiss Your Mate Day is celebrated on April 28 each year. While it is quite difficult to confirm the inventor and where this holiday draws its inspiration from, its purpose is very clear — to be all kissy with one's partner.
- Focus on the Good in Your Partner. ...
- Give your Significant Other Space, but Make Sure They Know You're There. ...
- Have Fun Together. ...
- Focus on Your Own Strengths and Happiness First. ...
- Don't Take It Personally if your Significant Other Doesn't Want to Talk About Their Feelings.
National Boyfriend Day is celebrated in October every year. This day lets you take notice of the person who holds a special place in your heart and showcase how much your boyfriend means to you.What color is Singles Awareness Day? ›
It's a humorous holiday to celebrate being single, to share with single friends, to send each other presents or even order yourself some flowers. On this day many people wear green, as it is the complementary opposite of red. Another popular option is an absence of color (black), to symbolize an absence of celebration.
International Men's Day observed on November 19 focuses on men's health, improving gender relations, highlighting male role models, and promoting positive expressions of masculinity.