Wheels of Justice
There are many worthy causes that deserve our support. Perhaps nothing harms our society more, however, than childhood trauma. More than one in ten children will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Child sex abuse alone costs taxpayers billions annually. And, these numbers do not include the victims of the child sex trade, nor do they say anything about the many other dark forms of child abuse. Wheels of Justice and Wings of Justice are committed to doing something about this.
Who we are.
Wheels of Justice is a cycling club and Wings of Justice is a running club, both dedicated to putting an end to childhood trauma. Our members are spread along the Wasatch Front, throughout southern Utah, and even in a number of different states and countries. All types of riders (roadies, mountain bikers, triathletes, commuters, randonneurs, casual riders, etc.) and runners (road, trail, etc.) are welcome and wanted. Being on the team does not require any kind of commitment. You can show support for the cause simply by adding your name to the list and reppin’ our colors.
We are proud to partner with four outstanding organizations making a difference in our community: Prevent Child Abuse Utah (“PCAU”), Friends of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center (“Friends of the CJC”), Operation Underground Railroad (“O.U.R.”), and the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition (“UDVC”):
The mission of PCAU is to forge and guide a community commitment to prevent childhood trauma in all forms through education, services, and public awareness. PCAU provides prevention education to both students and adults throughout the state. Its student presentations include child abuse prevention, bullying prevention, internet safety, and healthy relationships. Its adult presentations are geared towards adults working with children and the overall community. It also administers a sexual abuse prevention training program for parents and caregivers. All of PCAU’s education is evidence-informed, age-based, and free of charge. PCAU’s logo is a blue pinwheel. PCAU explains that the pinwheel “represents the carefree and innocent childhood we all wish for the children in our lives. The pinwheel symbolizes the innocence of childhood and the bright, happy future every child deserves.” Visit pcautah.org and watch this 30-second video to learn more.
The CJC is administered by the Salt Lake County District Attorney to help abused children recover from their experiences and receive support through all phases of the investigation and criminal justice process. The CJC’s expert team empowers child abuse victims to become survivors by receiving hope, healing, and justice. The team provides crisis support, onsite medical exams, sensitive forensic interview sessions to record their statements, referrals to trauma therapists, client emergency funds, and much more. Last year alone, the CJC helped provide funding to serve over 1,700 children in our community who were victims of sexual and physical abuse, drug endangerment, internet crimes, abductions, and sex trafficking, or who witnessed domestic violence. CJC’s yellow butterfly logo represents the delicate and beautiful nature of childhood, as well as the empowerment that comes with exercising your wings to fly. Visit cjcslc.org to learn more about this incredible organization.
O.U.R. takes its name from the Underground Railroad network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century to help African American slaves escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists, who were sympathetic to their cause. O.U.R. has taken on this name as it works to put an end to modern slavery in the form of child sex trafficking. O.U.R.’s Underground Jump Team consists of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts to free children. These operations are always carried out in conjunction with law enforcement throughout the world. Once victims are rescued, a comprehensive process involving justice for the perpetrators and recovery and rehabilitation for the survivors begins. Go to ourrescue.org for more information on the fight against modern-day slavery. In the past five years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 2,800 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 1,500 traffickers around the world.
A lesser-known form of childhood trauma occurs when children are exposed to domestic violence between adults. Children who witness domestic violence are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems. Children who witness domestic violence are also six times more likely to be involved in domestic violence relationships themselves in adulthood. UDVC is recognized nationally for providing expertise concerning issues of domestic and sexual violence to member programs, community partners and others in Utah. UDVC proposes, promotes, and advises on policies and practices that enhance victim safety and empowerment while raising awareness of the need for prevention and intervention. It operates a 24-hour confidential hotline known as the LINKLine, 1-800-897-LINK (5465), that offers trauma-informed support and connects survivors, friends, family, service providers and others to local resources. Check out udvc.org to learn more.
What we do.
We raise money and awareness and provide limited pro bono professional services to support our four partner organizations. Whether it’s in our annual Ain’t No Mountain High Enough! team ride/run, in small groups spread throughout the state on weekends, or solo riders/runners simply reppin’ our colors, we mostly just have fun riding and running in the beautiful outdoors and enjoying the comradery that comes from working together for a common purpose.
We raise money through the sale of team apparel and through in-kind and cash donations made by individuals and our many community partners. One of our partners, Utah-based DNA Cycling, has made our team kits and tech shirts available to us at a steeply discounted price to assist in our fundraising efforts. By keeping our costs low, we can pass more money along to help the kids. All proceeds from sales go to support the cause. You can purchase a team kit, tech shirts, and other apparel by visiting the DNA Store.
What you can do to help.
|You can do a number of different things to help us make a difference:
With all the many good causes demanding our help, it is appropriate to ask, “Why childhood trauma?”
Childhood trauma is perhaps more prevalent and more devastating than any disease or societal ill confronting our country. It is hard to believe, but more than one in ten children in Utah will be sexually abused before they turn 18—one in ten! This is to say nothing of the other pernicious forms of child abuse. Studies show that these adverse childhood experiences have profound and lasting consequences for the child and, therefore, our society as a whole. These include social, emotional, and cognitive impairment, adoption of high-risk behaviors, mental illness, disease, and disability, all culminating in early death. This combination makes childhood trauma the leading determinant of health and psychosocial well-being, as well as individual and societal economic well-being. The estimated average lifetime cost per victim of non-fatal childhood trauma is $210,012 in 2010 dollars, including $32,648 in childhood health care costs, $10,530 in adult medical costs, $144,360 in productivity losses, $7,728 in child welfare costs, $6,747 in criminal justice costs, and $7,999 in special education costs.
Childhood trauma also has a direct link to the all-too-frequent mass shootings we are seeing these days. A study funded by the National Institute of Justice built a database dating back to 1966 of every mass shooter who shot and killed four or more people in a public place, and every shooting incident at schools, workplaces, and places of worship since 1999. Data reveal four commonalities among the perpetrators of nearly all the mass shootings studied. First among them: the vast majority of mass shooters in the study experienced early childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age.
The good news is that we can do something about this. The four organizations we support, Prevent Child Abuse Utah, the Children’s Justice Center, the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, and Operation Underground Railroad each are very effective at addressing different aspects of childhood trauma. With your support, they can continue their critical missions, protect and heal our children, and make the world a little better place for all of us.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!
Come, tackle Salt Lake City’s canyons (all of them) with us!
Our major event each year is our 5 Canyons Bike Challenge, Ultramarathon, and 5K. The 5 Canyons Bike Challenge and Ultramarathon are incredibly challenging events with thousands of vertical feet of climbing, because Ain’t No Mountain High Enough! Click here for more information and to register!
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