Blue ribbon brings child abuse to light

Tom French of the Children’s Justice Center in Lihu‘e said child abuse awareness and prevention grew out of the animal cruelty prevention group who realized there was nothing to prevent child abuse.

French and other members of the CJC were on hand to accept a mayoral proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month on Kaua‘i.

This coincides with the national 24th anniversary of declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Our nation has a responsibility to build a safe and nurturing society so that our young people can realize their full potential,” said President Bush in his 2005 national declaration.

“During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to preventing child abuse and rededicate outselves to working together to ensure that all children can have a bright and hopeful future.”

Dean Pigao said part of the celebration on Kaua‘i will be an open house of the CJC located at Dynasty Court.

The open house will take place on April 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the CJC’s 4473 Pahe‘e St., Suite M.

A flyer states that light refreshments including desserts and cookies is made possible through a donation from Mark’s Place restaurants and prize drawings will take place every half hour.

“Most people are not aware of what kind of services are available, or what the CJC can do,” Pigao said. “Hopefully, people can drop in to find out what the CJC is all about.”

“Child abuse is a complex and ongoing problem in our society affecting great numbers of children on Kaua‘i and the state,” states the mayoral proclamation.

Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships created among the social service agencies, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community.

The CJC of Kaua‘i is a community-based program which works to ensure that families receive needed services and that all agencies involved coordinate efforts to minimize trauma to child victims.

“Our county is stronger when all citizens become aware of child abuse and neglect prevention and become involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment,” said Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste.

Every child is entitled to be loved, cared for, nurtured and secure and to be free from verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and physical abuse and neglect, the proclamation said.

To commemorate Child Abuse Prevention month, all CJC members wore blue ribbons, and a supply was also distributed to some of the county offices.

For more information on child abuse prevention, call the CJC office at 241-3590.

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