Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 21, 2018

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Communities nationwide come together to celebrate the great childhoods we can build for all children. Watch for blue pinwheels that symbolize the joyful, carefree childhood all children deserve.
We are sending blue pinwheels out into the community with one simple message: Do good for others. Pass the pinwheel on by doing a good deed for someone else. Each positive action helps build the compassionate community our children need to thrive.
Throughout April, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa leads a statewide campaign to raise awareness that child abuse is preventable, and how everyone can help in building safe families and communities for children. Communities across the state also honor the month with family-friendly events and education campaigns. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa envisions a state free from child abuse and recognizes the effort it will take to achieve this mission. First, it is essential to understand the prevalence of child abuse in Iowa today, so we can identify the obstacles we are facing. Second, it will require Iowans from every community to work together to ensure children are living in homes that are safe and free from abuse.
According to Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, in 2013, there were 12,267 children abused in our state – a 5 percent increase from the year before.  Half of those victims were children under the age of 6 and nearly 80 percent (78.4 percent) of abuse cases fell under the category of Denial of Critical Care (or Neglect).  The remaining abuse categories are as follows:
Physical abuse of a child 9 percent
Drug affected child 6.4 percent
Sexual abuse 3.9 percent
Sexual offender allowed access to child 1 percent
Meth manufacturing near a child 0.9 percent
Source PCAIowa.org
Denial of crucial care (also known as neglect) accounts for four out of every five cases of child abuse.  The majority of neglect cases are what is called “situational neglect,” meaning a family is doing reasonably well but then something happens that causes a form of neglect.  Perhaps one or both of the parents lose a job thus resulting in hungry, cold, or possibly homeless children.  Less than 10 percent of the remaining neglect cases are associated with a lack of food, shelter, or clothing – these neglect cases are truly horrific.  This type of neglect is often cyclical and if more often connected to lifelong poverty and/or the inability for the parent to make progress in their knowledge base.
Our Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC), and local coalitions have designated April 10 as Blue-Out Day.  We encourage everyone to wear blue to bring awareness to child maltreatment and neglect.
During the Week of the Young Child (April 12-18), local preschoolers will be coloring pinwheel color sheets to be hung in the windows of local businesses.
We are planting pinwheel gardens April 20-27 in our local communities.  The pinwheels will have local child abuse statistics and ways to build safe communities for ALL children. The pinwheel gardens will appear along the northeast corner of the square in Washington.