This Can’t Wait

April is Prevent Child Abuse Awareness Month
National Child Abuse Prevention Month April logo

But we’ve got problems now. This minute. Today.

Last week a JAK-ie (one of Just Add Kids friends, followers, mom) contacted me in a frantic, helpless state.  A young neighbor girl had been sexually assaulted and her own children witnessed the assault.  On top of that, the accused and admitted violator was released back into his home, right next door to his victim. Oh my gosh, what do you do?

And you may have heard of this one…a high school gym teacher is charged with child enticement.  This is just what we know in one week in our community.

Nothing happens by chance. This past Monday, I got together with the committee behind the Turn the Town Blue Campaign, Kenosha County’s collaborative initiative to bring awareness to preventing child abuse and keeping kids safe in conjunction with National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  As we build toward April and the culmination of activities, information and events that will take place, you can keep tabs on learning more about what your role can be in keeping our kids safe. Please LIKE, then follow Turn the ‘Town Blue Campaign on Facebook.

At this meeting I learned about a highly regarded (by this group) mini-course at UW-Parkside called Darkeness to Light: Stewards of Children. Specifically, the focus of this 3 hour course is child sexual abuse. “The Stewards of Children program will inform you how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse in an empowering and meaningful way. Parents, educators, counselors, child care staff, social workers, volunteers, staff at youth-serving organizations, and other concerned adults are welcome to attend this powerful child sexual abuse prevention training program.”  Many times, just like this JAK-ie mom who contacted me, we are horrified and feel helpless.  Perhaps you might attend.

Now, and in the month April and throughout the year, Just Add Kids encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Southeastern Wisconsin a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and our communities.

So, come on. Don’t wait til April. Play your important role as a mom, an educator, a JAK-ie, whatever.  Join in on the dialog now and be accountable…for the kids’ sake, please.


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