Sadly April is a big month for the Dell Hayden Memorial Child Advocacy Center and the Family Crisis Center. It is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
It is unfortunate because these problems are so pervasive that entities must exist to combat them and that the public must be made aware of just how big they are.
The Barton County Commission Monday morning approved proclamations recognizing both observances. “We wish you didn’t have to be,” Commission Don Davis said. But, “we’re glad you here.”
The Child Abuse Prevention Month proclamation stated that child abuse and neglect can be reduced by making sure families have the support needed to raise children in a healthy environment and that there are dedicated individuals and organizations in Barton County working to counter these problems.
“This is a community problem,” Family Crisis Center Director Laura Patzner said. “All citizens need to be involved.”
The proclamation says that all children deserved freedom from all forms of abuse, security, safety and loving homes. This should be a no brainer, but there are way too many kids who lack this basic right.
Also, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This effort involves a coalition of professionals, agencies and law enforcement.
Patzner cited the following statistics:
• One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
• One in six boys and one in four girls will be sexual assault before age 19.
• Young people experience heightened rates of sexual violence and youth ages 12 to 17 are 2.5 times more likely to be victims.
• On campus, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.
These figures speak for themselves.
“Prevention is possible through increased education, awareness and community involvement,” Patzner said.
It is hoped that those involved with these noble causes won’t take this statement the wrong way, but let’s all pray that someday, these organizations won’t be needed.