Climbing for Kids

Recently my husband Dave Albano and I were talking about how his quest to climb the 7 summits could also be part of raising awareness for child sexual abuse survivors. He has always been my biggest fan in supporting my healing process and my willingness to share my story. He created Climbing For Kids with the intention of literally bringing awareness to new heights. The project will continue to keep the conversation going and hopefully contribute the the creation of places like Be Brave Ranch. When awareness meets action, life for so many people changes immediately.

Lately, there has been a lot of media coverage related to the ongoing sexual abuse of young hockey player in Canada by Graham James. Some very prominent names were part of the process to help ensure this predator is put in jail for a long time. Theo Fleury has written his book, “Playing with Fire”, and has also come forward in court with a powerful victim impact statement. Ken Dryden also recently came forward to offer a very candid explanation why it is that many don’t get involved when there are suspicions of child abuse. His honesty was refreshing but also lends to a very specific problem.

When victims are afraid to come forward for fear of public scrutiny or fear of their abuser, the abuser continues to abuse. When other members of the society don’t come forward when they know there is a situation that needs to be questioned, the abuser continues to abuse. The bravery needed to say something has got to be huge from both victim and members of society. Risk of reputation, fear that people won’t believe the story, a lack of faith in the system to bring justice to those who have violated innocent victims, all lend to abusers continuing to abuse.

Keeping the discussion about child sex abuse happening will help take away the stigma of the subject as a whole. As people develop a comfort level with such personal topics being brought into conversation, the tolerance of these acts with go way down. The public will have a better understanding of how widespread these sorts of occurrences happen and know it’s only through action of individuals that will make a difference. Hoping that “it will work itself out” or “someone will look after this” will never make it safe for victims to come forward. Those that would choose to charge their abuser would have to know that society would believe them and would actually investigate their story efficiently. Feeling confident in society and the law takes away the self blame that often happens when abuse continues over time. Children that have already been lied to, humiliated and scared into silence need to know that what happened to them isn’t their fault. Trust is already compromised and if those that we rely on are too afraid to step up and do the right thing, then fighting these predators is nearly impossible.

Climbing for Kids is working towards raising awareness around the subject of childhood sexual abuse with the understanding that there is a lot of work to do. The public not only has to be informed but also educated about what they can do to help survivors and the justice system. The survivors that are brave enough to come forward need a place to heal, and learn how to love themselves enough so that they believe that they deserve to be treated with love and respect. Climbing for Kids and Little Warriors are continuing to make these goals reality. With the creation of places like Be Brave Ranch, more and more survivors will come forward and more predators will be brought to justice.

What can you do? Get educated. Be aware. Get involved.  Thank you.