April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month, in Southwest Missouri, there is one woman who has made it her life’s mission to make sure no child is left without a voice. Cindy Dennis, author, and entrepreneur founded “Give a Child a Voice” foundation through the books she teaches children how to deal with everything from bullies to child abuse.
What made her so passionate about the topic though is her childhood and her son. In May 2016 Ms. Dennis founded her organization a 501 c 3, her goal is to win the war on child abuse by raising awareness and prevention of all forms of violence towards children. The organization is run by volunteers with no one taking a salary; it is a labor of love.
She says that her emotional connection to this issue stemmed from an incident with her son when he was a small child. While they taught him all the basics, no touching, etc. he was still abused. From this abuse stemmed a wealth of knowledge. Before that, Ms. Dennis wasn’t aware of the tactics that abusers would use, the amount of manipulation that took place.
It is out of this ugly situation that a beautiful foundation sprung forth, with only one goal and that is increased knowledge. Knowledge is power, and proper education Ms. Dennis believes can decrease the numbers of child abuse victims. She states that it is her mission to save others children and families from the scars of child abuse.
The statistics for child abuse is staggering. 1 in 4 children will be the victims of child molestation. With numbers like these something must be done to prevent it. Ms. Dennis with the help of her foundation is working to change this numbers.
Through her beautifully illustrated books she is hoping to teach children that they can have the tools necessary to stay safe. Through encouraging them to speak out and continue speaking until someone listens Ms. Dennis expects to see a significant decrease in child abuse and neglect in her lifetime.
Children are on the front lines, dealing with bullies and abusers on a daily basis. She wrote these books, to help children find their voice. She uses positive wording and imagery to shine a light on a dark subject.
Ms. Dennis hopes that by decreasing the instances of child abuse, we will also reduce the number of homeless and those who suffer addiction. Other researchers concur that there is a link between children who are abused and homelessness. One study cites that there are multiple adverse impacts on lifetime development in cases of child abuse.
Can books really make a difference? Ms. Dennis believes so, and that is why she has made it her life’s mission to provide books to as many children as possible. While her books can be bought on her website and through Amazon she only charges what it costs to produce them, and in many occasions including Springfield’s Safe and Sound event she hands out free copies of her books to anyone who wants them.
Through her foundation, she hopes to partner with schools and foster care organizations to make sure any child who wants a copy of her book can get one.