Child abuse changes lives of children and parents

Diane and Tom Arenberg

Diane and Tom Arenberg

In 1990, we felt we had it made. Nice careers, two beautiful girls and a third one on the way. What could go wrong? Then the sky fell. We discovered that a babysitter had sexually molested our oldest daughter. It felt like we had fallen into a dark cave. How could this happen to us? Somehow it got worse. We experienced the legal system protecting the molester by attacking our lifestyle and accusing others of the abuse.

Although we proudly saw our daughter tell her story on videotape, and stand up to an attorney who tried to trick her, we also discovered that a not-guilty verdict was an easy way for a jury to make a problem go away. We learned that “not guilty” does not mean innocent. We were still deep in our cave.

We looked for ways to help prevent what happened to us. A passionate presentation on child abuse prevention proved to us that someone was taking action. We got involved with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and found there were dedicated people addressing the issue, including grassroots program support, advocacy and education. We have supported child abuse prevention programs ever since with our time and money.

Unfortunately, over 20 years later, this issue still exits. Parents seem to get younger, families get more complicated, and economic and cultural issues have kept child abuse alive.

Please look in your heart and help make a difference. We need to keep working to prevent child abuse and neglect. We hope you’ll go to stopchildabusetoday.org and make a donation today.

~ Tom and Diane Arenberg, guest bloggers

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