Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 26, 2014

Awareness walk to be held

By ROBBIE EDWARDS
robbie.edwards@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — Several local agencies collaborate to raise awareness about child abuse prevention with the annual walk around the Jefferson County Courthouse on Friday, April 3.

According to the National Children's Alliance an estimated 1,640 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country served over 286,000 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families.

"This has always been an issue, but more cases are being reported," said Stephanie Perez, program supervisor at Lutheran Child and Family Services.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and to raise awareness, participants are welcomed to walk in unity to show their support from noon to 1 p.m. on April 3.

"The walk is a great way to show the community there is a way to help and possibly prevent child abuse," said Jennifer Witzel, Foster Grandparent Program coordinator for One Hope United.

Each walker is encouraged to wear blue during the event. Blue is the commemorative color for national child abuse.

Featuring the color blue or using the blue kids is a symbol for child abuse prevention, to bring visual awareness to this issue, information states.

Blue kids are stationary cutouts that can be found around the community during April and in front of The Amy Center year around.

"The awareness walk in the past has had a big turn out. We have seen as many as a couple of hundred. Last year was the biggest turnout," said Diane Harper, office manager at The Amy Center.

Harper believes the reason the walk helps is because it is easily viewed by the public, and all the organizations work together in different ways to promote the event.

Several organizations are co-sponsoring the event: The Amy Center, CASA, Caritas Family Solutions, Lutheran Child and Family Services, One Hope United and United Methodist Children's Home.

For further information you may contact the sponsoring organizations at the following numbers:

The Amy Center, 244-2100; CASA at 204-5453, Carita Family Solutions at 244-0344, Lutheran Child And Family Services at 242-3284, One Hope United 242-8266 and United Methodist Children's Home 242-1070.