By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
Every 10 seconds a child is abused in America.
Last year in the state of Alabama, 11 deaths were reported as a result. Those statistics from various agencies that monitor abuse point to a problem that exists in every community.
As a tool to help educate the community on the effects of child abuse, the Cullman County Commission and the Cullman City Council presented Cullman Caring For Kids director Javon Daniel with a proclamation recently proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention month.
“I think a lot of times people overlook it,” Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker said. “Everybody needs to keep their eyes and ears open throughout the county because it happens right here in our back yard.”
To kick-off Child Abuse Prevention month, Daniel encouraged everyone to participate in today’s National Day of Hope.
“This is a day we ask individuals to burn a candle to remember the five children who die everyday in the United States from child abuse,” he said.
In addition, Daniel added several other special events are being planned for the month as well. Dates and times will be released soon.
“I thank the commissioners and the council for recognizing child abuse is a problem and that it’s real in our community,” Daniel said. “The best prevention is education and in order to educate we need to let people know the signs of child abuse and neglect.”
Blue ribbons are the symbol for Child Abuse Awareness month. In 1989, a grandmother in Virginia was grieving the death of her grandson, who had been killed at the hands of his abusive father. As a reminder of the blue bruises she had seen on her grandson, she tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her van. Soon, the blue ribbon became a symbol nationally to the cause of child abuse.
“There are so many things that can be done to help prevent this, and this is the beginning — making the community aware,” Daniel said.
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org