April is Child Abuse Awareness month, and several Hamilton County businesses and organizations have planted symbolic pinwheel gardens to remind the community to advocate for children and prevent abuse. I’m honored to fight alongside our community’s team of dedicated, loving foster families who work diligently each day to comfort and guide babies, toddlers, children and young adults who’ve endured far more pain than anyone ever should.
This year, they are on track to work with 10% to 15% more children than last year. “That’s something we really want to stress”. The majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that can be preventable when community programs and systems are engaged and supportive.
The Center has a 35-year history of preventing child abuse, neglect and abandonment through four core strategies of education, advocacy, health and safety.
Children who are abused or neglected are more likely to experience cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems, as well as disruptions in brain and physical development, which increase the risk for health problems in adulthood.
“Muscatine, in 2014, was rated 22 out of 99 counties for the rate of child abuse per child capita, so that’s in the top quarter”.
“I think it’s a wonderful visual”, said participant Tiffany Faircloth, about the sense of promoting healthy, happy and safe childhoods in Sampson County.
She also said that the most important step to take is report.
“It’s always better to report, when in doubt, report”, McCory said.
The community can be the eyes and ears for children, reporting suspicious injuries or behavior so that police officers and those who are trained to spot abuse may investigate. One in sixteen – that’s the number of kids suffering from sexual abuse.