National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Too Tough to Talk About

National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Too Tough to Talk About

Asian boy looking sad sitting at desk with blue chair in school classroom
Written by Rachel Shifaraw, Adult Adoptee, C.A.S.E. Emerging Leader & Creative Content Specialist
Published on: Apr 09, 2024
Category Adoption

The Emerging Leaders Candid Corner

A place where adopted adults candidly share THEIR stories & answer YOUR questions.


We received the topic for April’s newsletter…it’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As I brought the topic to the table of the emerging leaders, conversation went silent. Our talkative group suddenly didn’t have much to say…

“We can approach it from various standpoints…perhaps we’d write about coping with triggers, strengthening familial bonds, community resources. We don’t have to necessarily share any personal stories here”, I said.

Still, nobody wanted to get in this ballgame…almost all of our members remained silent on the sidelines. I was instantly reminded that despite us all being successful & emotionally mature adults, we may have chapters of our stories that feel unsafe or are still too hard to share.

Perhaps we’re grappling with difficult information about generational traumas? Or maybe we’ve got missing pieces – where we read chapters of our adoption novels wondering, “was I kept safe during these periods of blank pages”? Every adoption adventure I’ve asked about has had gray areas…nothing ever completely “black & white.” So many unanswered questions…seemingly, we sometimes live in bodies of unsolved mysteries.

How does one not wonder if there were any “dark parts”?

I wasn’t sure what to do with the fact that none of us wanted to discuss such a sensitive topic. I sat at my computer trying to calculate the appropriate words to talk about our inability to share. “It feels like I’m walking on eggshells”, I said to myself. I was teetering this tightline of telling a story while protecting the privacy of my team. My mind was racing in circles when I suddenly stopped overthinking & I realized our team was doing exactly what C.A.S.E. has taught us to do…

We were using three letters from the C.A.S.E. W.I.S.E. Up! model, which teaches us how to handle discussing our adoptions. We were deciding to say, “(I) It’s private” by choosing not to share any personal stories in our column this month. We decided to (S) share something, by being brave enough to take on talking about this topic with our adoption community. We are also (E) educating our readers by explaining why this topic can be difficult and providing our fellow adoptees with the W.I.S.E. Up! resource to help appropriately address conversations that can sometimes feel uncomfortable.

Our staple theory reigns true again: adoption is a lifelong journey. However, with proper support, resources & plenty of practice – we’re getting better & better at walking this winding road.

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