Why did I pick the Advocacy Center as a charity to donate my book proceeds to? Let me tell you about my experience there...
It was a gun. And it was the closest I had actually ever been to a gun. It looked larger in real life, heavier, lethal. It belonged to a detective and he chose to sit next to me at my first meeting at the Children's Advocacy Center. I shifted a little in my chair and tried to make sure that he'd put the safety on. I have no idea what a safety actually looks like. I finally tore my attention away when the speaker started the meeting. Gathered at the table were lawyers, detectives, counselors and the staff of the center. And me, representing the nurses that perform sexual assault exams. A case was described and the various members of the team would work together to find a way toward justice and healing.
I listened intently, felt my throat tighten and my stomach roll.
THEY DID WHAT? TO A CHILD?
It took everything I had not to explode out of the chair, unclip the gun from the detective's holster and demand a street address. But I took an Oath. Do no harm. And I'm pretty sure I couldn't actually shoot it at someone, anyway.
But I have to do something. Something to make sure the monsters are kept at bay and when they get out...there's someone who will hunt them down...someone who will keep the children safe and help drive away their nightmares.
Will you help too?