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Child abuse prevention group changes name, hires director
new deh child abuse pic
Pictured above are members of the Child Abuse Prevention Education Board including: Back row left to right: Becky Stonebraker, Mary Thurman, Connie Dyer, Shala Ehrlich and Sabrina Chism; and front row left to right: Sheryl Neeland, Dana Murphey (the new executive director), Alvena Spangenberg and Michelle Daniel. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

For further information about Child Abuse Prevention Education, formerly Ourselves and Our Families, contact Dana Murphey at 620-792-2177, 620-388-2297, or

To get help or report abuse, call the Kansas Abuse Hot line at 1-800-922-5330 or Childhelp National Child Abuse Hot line at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

Ourselves and Our Families Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse has changed its name to the Child Abuse Prevention Education and the board of directors has hired Dana Murphy as the executive director.

Though Ourselves and Our Families has been educating area youth for 25 years about child abuse prevention, many people in the area might still be unfamiliar with the program, Murphey said. She hopes to change that, starting with the new name for the organization that will more clearly indicate the program’s mission.

Murphey brings over 15 years experience in youth-focused programming to this position and states that child abuse prevention is a mission she is excited to pursue.

"Fifty percent of all children will experience some form of abuse during childhood," Murphy said. "One of every three girls will be sexually abused before the age of 18; and one out of every five to seven boys will be sexually abused by 18. Only a small percentage of child abuse is ever reported, so we know a problem exists that needs attention."

While the main focus of the program is educating area school children K - 6 about child abuse prevention, Murphey said adults also play a crucial role in protecting children. "Adults need to know the signs and symptoms of child abuse and recognize red flags," she said. "If you suspect a child is being abused, it’s critical to get them the help they need."

Reporting child abuse may seem so official, and many people are reluctant to get involved in other families’ lives, but reporting is anonymous, Murphy said. "You don’t have to give your name when you report child abuse. The child abuser cannot find out who made the report of child abuse."

Many people feel that calling in a report won’t make a difference, but Murphey said if one has a gut feeling that something is wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry. "Even if you don’t see the whole picture, others may have noticed as well, and a pattern can help identify child abuse that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

"You are important in the life of a child," Muprhey said. "Children are all precious human beings. If you suspect that a child is being abused do not hesitate to call the child abuse hot line. You have the power to help save lives."