“Ok, I got to ask…. Why is your fingernail painted?”
It is a tough question for me to answer, but I do so to both share my daughter’s story and help educate.
In 2015, my daughter contemplated and attempted taking her life. It was then that I learned that she was 1 in 5… One in five children that have been physically and/or sexually abused.
At the age of eight, she was abused by a school counselor and convinced she should not tell anyone. For over eight years she carried the pain to the point she could not do it anymore. Fortunately for our family we were in a position to seek both medical and emotional counseling. With our faith in Jesus, much prayer, open family conversations and the support of a few trusted friends over the course of a couple of years Paige is now thriving.
As a parent, this has been one of the toughest and most rewarding seasons of my life. Our family focused on getting healthy and learning how to move forward which led to an evening at a dance recital where Paige and her mom shared her story publicly to over 400 people.
Today, I paint my nail proudly to support Paige and to raise awareness to the growing problem in our society, the abuse of children. A Polished Man is a brotherhood of sorts that started in Australia, focused on creating awareness and raising funds for recovery and trauma programs for children who have suffered or are at risk of suffering violence globally.
My nail also serves as a visual reminder/tool for me to give Grace to people that might be responding with a level of anger or impatience. We truly do not know what is in everyone’s past and with the knowledge that 1 in 5 have been physically or sexually abused as a child, chances are good that they would need a pass.
Paige is now in college at GCU (Grand Canyon University) preparing to be a special eduction teacher with an additional degree in dance eduction giving her a unique opportunity to provide an outlet through dance .
Our family continues to thrive and pursue God not only hearing but moving as directed.
You do not need to be a victim to educate, consider painting one of your nails to help spread the word.