I read Donna Van Liere’s book, , on a very long flight. I couldn’t put it down.

This piece of fiction tells the story of a young woman growing up in the south during the 1950s who encounters a child who has been abused most of his life. Her actions to save the boy cost her a great deal, but it is her courage to confront evil and her selfless acts of love that bring a redemptive ending to a story that could have ended the child’s life.

The author tackles a difficult subject-the real impact of child abuse. But the story has a redemptive ending that will make you smile. It is that hope that must cause us to confront this difficult topic and not be afraid to stand up for children who are being abused. Van Liere gives the reader just enough insight into abuse to understand how it ravages the dignity of a person. In real life, the impact of such action often continues for years.

A message I hope every reader takes home from this book is that child abuse is a terrible thing that must be confronted. It is not OK to stand on the sideline if you suspect someone is being abused. I am reminded of the words of an old Phil Keaggy song, “Who will stand up for the little ones? Helpless and half-abandoned.” Hopefully, the church will and be a healing force.

Every state has child abuse laws that require us to report and respond to abuse. Click on this link to learn more about laws concerning child abuse.

If you or someone you know suspects child abuse, have the courage to report it and save a child.

Thanks Donna for your thoughtful work and reminding us to stand up for those in need of help.

Child abuse: a silent epidemic

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