Baltimore, MD, November 23, 2012 - What Black Friday and Cyber Monday are to the retail world, #Giving Tuesday (December 3, 2013) is quickly becoming for the world of philanthropy, and this growing grassroots movement is having an impact on non-profits throughout Maryland. Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere (RAACE), a Maryland non-profit dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse, is one of #GivingTuesday’s newest partners.
RAACE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded 10 years ago by Baltimore businessman Kenneth Smith. The organization’s mission is to raise public awareness and provide age-appropriate educational tools to help families protect their children.
Child sexual abuse statistics are at epidemic proportions — 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys are sexually abused by age 18 — yet the topic is vastly under-discussed. The silence is caused in part to the fact that over 90% of the perpetrators aren’t strangers, but are someone the child knows and trusts.
There are 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse in the U.S and most never have the chance to share their story, an action that can be an important part of the healing process for some people. As part of #GivingTuesday, RAACE will offer survivors the opportunity to tell their story, anonymously if they prefer. Survivors can email or send a letter to RAACE and members of the organization will record and post their stories on its social media outlets, giving survivors a voice and bringing their experiences out of the shadows.
“Exposing the prevalence of abuse and educating people are first steps towards preventing it," explains RAACE founder Kenneth Smith. “That’s why we’re sharing survivors’ stories and why we stage our annual ‘prevention tour’. We travel around the region to family-friendly events and we use our two-story, carnival-style "Big Wheel" to catch the attention of event-goers and teach them how they can help prevent child sexual abuse.”
RAACE is a #GivingTuesday partner for the first time this year to help fund its prevention tour and spread the word about ways to prevent children from becoming abuse victims. The #Giving Tuesday movement started in 2013 as an innovative approach designed to transform how people think about and participate in the giving season that coincides with the winter holidays. #GivingTuesday takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year on December 3, 2013.
“Rather than focusing all our energies on holiday sales and shopping, #GivingTuesday reminds us what the holidays are really about—caring for and sharing with others,” adds Smith. “It’s a great way to shine the spotlight on the many, many ways we can each help people in our own community, around the country and across the globe.”
For more information about RAACE and its partnership with #GivingTuesday, visit www.raace.org.