“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Crime Victims Advocacy Month in the City of Rolla. We call upon all citizens, community agencies, faith groups, medical facilities, and businesses to support CASA, PCCAN, The Community Partnership and Victim’s Advocates in their efforts to increase the community’s awareness of the extent and effects of child abuse, support families to help prevent child abuse, and ensure that children who are victims of child abuse have an advocate to speak on their behalf thereby strengthening the communities in which we live.”
These words were echoed by Mayor William Jenks April 9 after signing the proclamation at the Phelps County Courthouse, designating April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Community members rallied to the cause of decreasing the incidents of child abuse and neglect in Phelps County via advocacy and awareness.
According to the January 2012 Children’s Defense Fund report, a child is abused or neglected every two hours. As of Jan. 26, 2012, 5,313 children were victims of abuse and neglect in Missouri. These are sobering statistics but there is something that can be done to increase awareness and prevention efforts in our communities.
Three organizations in our region were recognized by Missouri Prevention Partners as Leaders in Child Abuse Prevention. Winners included CASA of South Central Missouri, Phelps County Child Advocacy Network, and The Community Partnership. These organizations will be honored on April 17 at 12 p.m. at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. The public is invited to attend.
For more information on preventing child abuse and neglect in our community please contact Judy Waters, CASA of South central Missouri at 573-458-6240.