Henry County launches child abuse prevention month

April is National Child Abuse prevention month and Genesee County is doing its part in raising awareness as cases continue to rise in the county. Pinwheels have been chosen as the national symbol of prevention of child abuse for its positive association with children and with happy images of childhood.

Corning Mayor Doug Hately Jr. proclaimed April as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month Tuesday and encouraged all residents to dedicate themselves to the task of preventing child abuse by strengthening families.

Ellis said the project is also to highlight and honor the kids that have been through the program.

According to Childhelp, a national organization working to prevent child abuse, a report of abuse is made somewhere in the United States every ten seconds. Every young person deserves the right to grow up safe, healthy, and free from violence.

Take a tour of the facility that helps protect area children from child abuse.

Each one represents an abused or neglected child and the advocates who stand up for them. Some parents might not understand how to care for a child's basic needs or they might have unrealistic ideas about a child's abilities and behavior. “Child abuse can have long-term psychological, emotional and physical effects that can have lifelong consequences for victims of abuse.

"Cabarrus County is a good community, however there has to be knowledge of abuse because this is that hush, hush thing; nobody wants to talk about it", Ramona Williams, care manager at Children's Advocacy Center, said. "In our county, we see a lot of children for the different sexual and physical abuse".

Those are the daily miracles that happen in the aftermath of child abuse and neglect.

According to the National Children's Alliance, almost 700 thousand children are abused or neglected in the US each year and about 4 out of 5 abusers are the victim's parents.

This month, local DCS offices along with child advocacy groups are hosting events to provide resources to communities, in an effort to reduce the number of children that need DCS protection. The Prevention Collaboration is dedicated to helping the community take action to prevent child sexual abuse. Some say that family matters are no one else's business.

Intervention may be up to adults outside the child's family, activist Shana Thornton said.

Every parent is at risk of engaging in child abuse, but learning about children's brain development can help them avoid it. The organization chose to take the campaign nationwide in 2008 to create another national symbol for child abuse and neglect.

  • Annette Adams