FIGHTING CHILD ABUSE: Ceremony pays homage, gives hope

COLUMBIA CITY — “The world is filled with darkness but we can light the way,“ said Pat Mossburg, director of the Salvation Army in Whitley County Monday.More than 100 people attended the solemn occasion at the fifth annual Light the Way to Child Abuse Prevention and Education hour at First Church of God in Columbia City.“This is an evening of remembrance of children lost to abuse, neglect and human trafficking...but also a night of hope that through awareness we can make a difference in a child’s life,” said Mossburg.She added her goal is to never have to do this seminar again.The evening began with the viewing of Country singer Martina McBride’s video entitled “Concrete Angel.”“Children are lost, abused and suffering in Whitley County,” said Mossburg. “But this is an era of hope.”Many believe child abuse doesn’t happen here, but it does.“During this year’s Super Bowl in Fort Wayne, a mom had the flu and asked a neighbor to watch her three daughters. One of those children didn’t come home.“In South Bend a father murdered a small boy. The grandma is in jail because she didn’t report it. She said she was trying to help her son. She thought the abuse was happening but she never made the call. In Indiana it’s the law if you suspect abuse (of any kind) you must report it,” said Mossburg.“Feel free to talk to anyone. One little act can make a difference,” she said.Ken Locke of The Salvation Army, read “The Serenity Prayer” and challenged the audience to focus on the line “Challenge us to seek injustice in the world and to have the courage to change things.”“I challenge you two things,” said Locke. “First to take a look at ourselves and secondly to look at things happening around us.”Esteban Pommier of The Salvation Army in Warsaw, spoke about grieving for the things that God grieves for.Shanna Atteberry is a domestic violence survivor.She shared her story about being born of a single mom.“My mom never talked bad about my dad and I never saw him. But she married a nice man but he had a drinking problem,” said Atteberry.“Every night I’d always think before that tomorrow is going to be a better day. He moved my mom and me to Nevada. He was isolating us. I was in the fifth grade. I was picked on at home, school and even at the grocery store. I saw him push my mom’s head into the wall. After that my mom and me got out of that house and moved back to Indiana. I have to hand it to my mom because she never put me in harm’s way,” said Atteberry.