(Some of this post may be inappropriate for some readers. However, if you're old enough to watch and understand the news or Oprah, I would recommend you read this article.)
This is a blogpost about Knitting. And about Me.
Many years ago, when I was a child, I was molested. Repeatedly. Which puts me in a statistical bracket, of child victimization perpetuated by people the child knows.
I have often thought that if it was the one traumatic experience, I could dismiss it to an area of my memory that doesn't have to be accessed every day and eventually forget about it.
In the case of the recently rescued Hannah Anderson (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57598170-504083/hannah-anderson-update-calif-teen-unaware-that-mother-brother-had-been-killed-until-rescue-sheriff-says/) it may not be forgotten. The public attention and the deaths of half of her family, may keep that in her minds eye for the rest of her life. I hope not, because there are programs in place now that weren't available to a few decades ago that may help her learn to be herself, if the paparazzi can learn to leave her alone...
However, there are cases where the victim is not burdened with the memory.
Chelsea King was a high school student, bright, sunshiny and full of hope, who went out for a jog one day and never was returned to her family. She was raped and murdered.
Her family, Dad, Mom and Brother, left to figure out their world without her, have put together a charity, Chelsea's Light. At their website ( http://www.chelseaslight.org/ ) they show their goal is two-fold, one is about changing laws: (quote from their website) Championed by the King family and Chelsea’s Light Foundation, Chelsea’s Law was founded on the belief that violent sexual predators who go after children are a uniquely dangerous problem. Signed unanimously into law in September, 2010, the newly-enacted California legislation ensures that the state does everything it can to keep sex offenders who target children from engaging in even more atrocious crimes upon release, and that those who commit the worst violent sexual crimes against children are put away for life. All of California’s 9.3 million children are safer because of Chelsea’s Law. Did you read that, sexual predators who go after children are put away for life? That's not a knitting challenge, that's societal. It's happened in California, they are working on it elsewhere...
The other thing the Kings do, is help kids get to college, as they had hoped to help Chelsea, and to do so while being a kid and knowing hope and joy. As they shared on a recent audio podcast ( http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fiberhooligan/2013/07/29/chelseas-light-1 ) the students they help become part of their family.
Chelsea's Shawl is a knitting project set up to help this organization. ( http://www.chelseaslight.org/partnerships/chelseas-shawl/ ) The kit includes a pattern for a shawl designed by Stephen West ( http://westknits.com/ VERY generous as it has been a successful design for him) and two skeins of yarn by Dream in Color ( http://www.dreamincoloryarn.com/patterns/chelseas-shawl/ ) the colors chosen because they were among Chelsea's favorites. Dream in Color is donating $10 toward Chelsea's Light for each kit sold, and some vendors are able to match the donation, for example Purlescence Yarns in Northern California. ( http://www.purlescenceyarns.com/ ) If you are a knitter or crocheter, I hope you will pick up the kit. Once you obtain a kit, if you would like to participate in a Knit-A-Long, find the Fiber Hooligan group on Ravelry. Our KAL starts August 21st.
No child should experience these kinds of horrors. Putting people away with these kinds of proclivities is one way to reduce the numbers in the statistics. Here is a way a knitter can change the world, one stitch at a time.
Thank you for reading this entire post. You have my respect.