Connecting. Caring. Collaborating.
Meet The Creator Of The #stopchildabusecampaign @helpspreadthis – Steve Cosentino
I had the pleasure of connecting with Steve Cosentino about a year ago when I reached out to him via Twitter. I had just started a Twitter account to help advocate for Childhelp/Wings, one of the biggest non-profits for abused children which I actively volunteer for and I wanted to learn more about Steve and his successful twitter campaign. Immediately, I connected with him and loved his empathy for the injustice of child abuse.
So why did Steve start this campaign? Steve witnessed a horrible child abuse case that drove him to create the #stopchildabuse campaign. That began his mission of creating a twitter campaign to raise awareness for a very serious and often very uncomfortable to talk about problem. The more I learned about Steve, the more I wanted to help spread his vision and share his twitter campaign.
To further this effort, I asked Steve if I could interview and write an article on him for a project that I was starting called “Project Safe”. The project was created to bring together like-minded advocates for children, who are passionate about helping end child abuse, and together collaborate to come up with the best ideas to help with this very complex problem.
PROJECT SAFE (PS): WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STARTING THE #STOPCHILDABUSE CAMPAIGN?
STEVE: Over the last several years (as I paid more attention to the news) I have heard more and more heartbreaking stories of child abuse.
A few years ago I was driving down 195 and passed a vehicle on the side of the road that was surrounded by police tape and vehicles. I learned later that day that it was the vehicle in which they had found Nubia and Victor Barajona. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/surviving-barahone-twin-alleges-months-of-toture-/nL3sF/ It changed me in some way….pushed me to do something.
It was then that I created this petition http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-child-abuse. I emailed it to family, friends, and business contacts.
I wanted to distribute it more. I created my first twitter account.
In a short period of time I had many twitter friends and many agreed to retweet the petition for me.
PS: WHAT WAS YOUR LIFE LIKE GROWING UP?
STEVE: I come from a great, loving family of six kids. Great parents and upbringing. I had a fantastic childhood.
PS: WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE #STOPCHILDABUSE CAMPAIGN?
STEVE: Originally, it was that the petition would go viral and that so many people would read it and sign it that it would eventually draw the attention of someone who could really help change the system that is responsible for the welfare of our children (once a complaint of abuse has been registered of when a child is put through the foster care system). I know there are no easy answers, but we can’t have the same system in place that allowed for the years of abuse and torture to Nubia and Victor, and eventually of the murder of Nubia, to still be in place today.
Now, as well as circulating the petition, I hope to grow the campaign in hopes of not only raising awareness, but also I would like to continue to use the twitter account and Donate Tweets (JustCoz.org/helpspreadthis) in coordination with other organizations to help in the best way possible.
PS: WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN AS THE RESULT OF YOUR EFFORTS?
STEVE: I would like to see more people get involved with this cause. It may be far reaching but I would like to #stopchildabuse.
PS: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY TO CONNECT WITH YOU?
STEVE: I think the best way to help is for individuals to follow on twitter or Facebook and share as much as they can to help raise awareness, donate a tweet, and or sign and share the petition.
Please help Steve’s #stopchildabuse campaign by posting #stopchildabuse @helpspreadthis to your tweets every hashtag Thursday. Please sign the petition at: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-child-abuse and spread the word to help make a difference.