Child Abuse Prevention Month proclaimed
Community awareness was highlighted at a kickoff event for a local Blue Ribbons for Kids campaign which was held last Friday morning in Union County.
WIBH radio in Anna is spearheading the community-wide campaign, which will be held in conjunction with April’s observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Friday morning’s kickoff event was held in front of the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
During the ceremony, Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds read a proclamation which declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Union County.
Before reading the proclamation, the state’s attorney noted that the Blue Ribbon for Kids campaign helped to highlight a need for awareness and advocacy regarding the issue of child abuse.
The proclamation declared that “child abuse and neglect is a complex and ongoing problem in our society, affecting many children in Union County.”
The proclamation continued:
“Every child is entitled to be loved, cared for, nurtured, feel secure and be free from verbal, sexual, emotional and physical abuse and neglect.
“It is the responsibility of every adult who comes in contact with a child to protect that child’s inalienable right to a safe and nurturing childhood.
“Union County has dedicated individuals and organizations who work daily to counter the problem of child maltreatment and to help parents obtain the assistance they need.
“Our communities are stronger when all citizens become aware of child maltreatment prevention and become involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe and nurturing environment.
“Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships among families, social service agencies, schools, religious and civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community.
“All citizens, community agencies, faith organizations, businesses will work to increase their efforts to support families.”
All of those who were at at Friday morning’s kickoff event had an opportunity to sign the proclamation as a show of support for the campaign.
The Blue Ribbons for Kids campaign highlights an effort to combat a growing number of child abuse cases in Southern Illinois.
The campaign brings together people from throughout Union County who are taking a stand against child abuse in their communities.
Now in its seventh year, the campaign is a partnership between WIBH AM 1440/FM 102.5 Radio in Anna, the Children’s Medical & Mental Health Resource Network of Southern Illinois and the Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center.
The campaign focuses on education and awareness for parents, guardians and caregivers who live and work in the county.
According to Two Rivers Child Advocacy Center, approximately 200 reports of child abuse are made in Union County each year.
Two Rivers advocates for child victims of abuse and their families throughout the investigative and court processes involved in child abuse cases.
Children’s Medical & Mental Health Resource Network provides vital medical and social services to reported child victims of physical, sexual abuse and neglect, with an additional focus on children who have been exposed to dangerous methamphetamine manufacturing environments.
Both agencies work closely to provide services to children in Southern Illinois.
New for this year’s campaign are the addition of Courage Collections Days, which are planned each Friday in April from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Donations of travel-size toiletry items, children’s books and snacks will be accepted on April 7 at Wright Bros. Body Shop & Rod’s Towing, April 14 at L&P Carpet, April 21 at Union County Hospital and April 28 at Anna Baking Company sponsored by Swafford Pediatrics. For a complete list of items, visit the WIBH Blue Ribbons for Kids Facebook page or call WIBH.
Other events which are planned during the month include PJ’s and a Movie Night at Kiki’s Coffee House in downtown Anna on April 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a special showing of the movie “Trolls.” Entry is one courage collection item per person. Treats from the Anna Baking Company will be provided.
A Blue March on Main Street Against Child Abuse is planned on “Blue Day,” which is April 14. Walkers are invited to meet in the parking lot across from Anna-Jonesboro National Bank’s Main Street location at noon. Family friendly “stand against child abuse” signs are welcome.
Union County businesses supporting this year’s effort include Anna Baking Company, Jordo’s Pizzeria, Kiki’s Coffee House, L&P Carpet, Movie Depot, River to River Residential Community, Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel, Sling Blade Performance, Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Edmonds, Stegle Plumbing, Sudzy Bath & Biscuits, Swafford Pediatrics, Tech Fusion, Title Cash, Union County Abstract, the Union County Chamber of Commerce, Union County Hospital and Wright Bros. Body Shop & Rod’s Towing.
For more information about the Blue Ribbons for Kids Campaign, contact Shawnna Rhine at WIBH at 618-833-9424 (WIBH) or visit www.wibhradio.com or the WIBH Blue Ribbons for Kids Campaign Facebook page.