“What do we tell our children?” Our clients and community have been asking us this question and trying to understand its meaning after the unanticipated results of our national election. Many members of our community — women; immigrants; people of color; Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities; LGBTQ people; people with disabilities — felt directly threatened by the words spoken during this election season. Fear exists of what might happen now.
Here’s how we have answered this question: Do everything possible to reassure children that they are safe. Remind children that our country has peacefully transitioned presidents for 220 years, and checks and balances work. It is critical to recommit ourselves to the values we hold most dear: respect, compassion, inclusivity, and civility.
At the Prevention Center, it means renewing our commitment, as we do every single day, to a fully inclusive, equitable community in which all children and families can thrive. It means treating each other with respect and humility, as we take care of those who feel most vulnerable in this, or any, moment. It means continuing to provide a place for safety, refuge, stability, and support.
We have long believed that unity is the bedrock of our work. We alone will not end child abuse. But we firmly believe with the collective of residents, community partners, city agencies, business, and you, we can. We must all work together.
Our country is deeply divided. In the coming weeks it’s paramount that the chasm that has separated our country and our community begins to heal, and unity rings forth — for our ourselves, our children, and our futures. But, it’s going to take all of us. Now, more than ever, we must be a society of the people, by the people, for the people.
Finally, we tell families that we are here 24/7 every day of the year. You just need to call our TALKLine at 415-441-KIDS (5437). And, we offer additional resources about how to talk with children about this election:
Thank you for joining together to create a community that is safe for all children.
With deep respect,