Thursday, April 10, 2008
Blue ribbons honor, speak for abused
By SUE WATSON
Three hundred blue ribbons were attached to flag poles, park benches, the gazeboes, doors and on greenery in downtown Holly Springs to launch Child Abuse Awareness Month, which officially began April 1.
The ribbons make a statement for abused children who often are not able to speak out against what is being done.
Community-minded and socially-active members of the area participated in a preliminary service before some 30 volunteers spread out over the downtown square to put up bows. They will stay up all month in honor of children who are being or have been abused in the area.
Greg Campbell with B&B Concrete helped open the program on the walk in front of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce office - one community organization pivotal in getting the job done for the children.
“Hopefully, one day there will be no such thing as child abuse,” he said.
Chamber board chairman Lynn Pullen provided background on how one distraught grandmother in 1989 took a public stand against child abuse after her grandson became a “tragic victim” of child abuse. The grandmother put blue ribbons on her car antenna as a reminder of how children are bruised during domestic violence and child abuse situations.
Minnie Hoey, with Marshall County Department of Family and Children Services, thanked supporters for participating in the push to remind everyone that child abuse and child neglect is a problem in Marshall County.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry read a proclamation by the City of Holly Springs, then said, “We hope what we do today will mushroom into an awareness of how God has placed children in families and of the sacredness of children.”
Chamber executive director Amy S. Heaton added that “the display of ribbons is a statement that there is no excuse for abuse.”
Many individuals and organizations or businesses helped with the event, including McDuffy Enterprises/McDonald’s and the Clydesdale Christmas Store which purchased the banners on display on the square.
Also helping out financially and with their participation were members of Collins/Hurdle VFW 5697 and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary; chamber member Carnell Brown; Parkwood Hospital; Jennie’s Flowers and Gifts; Darlene Carlini; the City of Holly Springs; Youth Court employees; Marshall Industries and students from Marshall Academy.
Over $635 was donated as well as blue ribbons made by volunteers and provided gratis from Jennie’s Flowers and Gifts.
National Child Abuse Statistics
An estimated three million children are reported to have suffered abuse or neglect each year but an additional three million are thought to go unreported in the United States.
The number of deaths per day from child abuse is on the increase with 3.33 deaths per day reported in 1995 and 4.11 per day for year 2003.
Four children die each day from abuse and three of the four are under four years of age.
A case of child abuse is reported every 10 seconds.
Of the reported cases of rape of children under age 12, 90 percent of those knew their perpetrator before the rape occurred.
Child abuse is no respecter of socioeconomic class, religion, educational level, and knows no cultural or ethnic boundaries.
Statistics on prisoners reveal that 37 percent of female prisoners and 14 percent of male prisoners were abused children.
Children who have been abused are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
Experts cannot agree on a single reason for this increase, but most attribute it to both a population increase and an increase in reporting. Other factors that are sometimes cited include changing a wider definition of child abuse, increased reporting requirements, states providing more accurate information, better recording systems, and changes in data collections.
One-third of abused children will abuse or neglect their own children, perpetuating the horrible generation-to-generation cycling of abuse and neglect to innocent children.
The cost of child abuse and neglect continues into adulthood for the victim:
These statistics are from a 2003 report prepared by the Administration for Children & Families of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services & Child Maltreatment, the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse & Neglect Information, the U.S. Department of Justice Reports and the National Institute on Drug Abuse 2000 Report & Child Abuse & Neglect Study by Arthur Becker-Weidman PhD.
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