Kansans march to raise awareness during National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center participates in National Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Five Days of Action, April 16-20, is a week in April created to raise awareness and inspire adults to take action to protect children from sexual abuse.

The organization is encouraging residents in the area to speak up if they believe a child is being abused.

Kim Seidel hopes that when Isabella County residents see blue pinwheels this month, they are reminded that child abuse is a "community crisis". She says it's the obligation of all adults to be the voice for children but says law enforcement also has an obligation when child abuse is first reported.

Previously survivors of child sexual abuse had to seek damages within six years, but now they will be able to seek justice and compensation in civil courts, regardless of how many years ago the abuse happened.

"It's definitely a family issue, because 68 percent of the abusers are family members, 90 percent are known to the children in some caregiver capacity", Shackelford said.

"When children are removed from a home, the department works with the caregivers to address individual and family needs".

There is great need for more foster care families in Bell County and opportunities to volunteer to provide Christmas gifts and other needed supplies for children, Woodberry said. "This can include mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, parenting skills development, and so on".

The Alveses said they do not know what the abuse accusations entail, but that ACS investigated and cleared them of the allegations.

DSS spent approximately $990,000 previous year to operate its child protective services program covering all facets of the department from investigations to placement. The flag is also a reminder that one person - even just one - can make a difference in the course of a child's life, Harvey said.

The blue ribbon campaign runs all through the month of April. "It has so many barriers for them to grow and learn and do well and succeed".

From those calls, 407 were in Coconino County.

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