Child abuse awareness, prevention take center stage in April

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  • By Robins Public Affairs
April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, and the Family Advocacy Program will be using the time to help to bring the important subject to the forefront.

Roslyn Battle, family advocacy outreach manager, said the observance will provide opportunities for the entire community to become aware of the four major types of child abuse: physical, sexual, emotional and neglect.

Base and community leaders, along with and the Rainbow House Children's Resource Center, will kick off the observance by signing a proclamation today at 9:30 a.m. at a Pinwheels for Prevention Ceremony in the Lower Lobby of the Northwest Tower of Houston Medical Center.

In addition to the proclamation signing, Family Advocacy is co-sponsoring a host of activities about child abuse prevention and child safety:
  • April 15 - Parents of children ages 12-18 can attend "Surviving Your Adolescents: Learn How to Manage and Let Go of Your Adolescents" at Coldwell Bankers, 420 Houston Lake Road, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
  • April 16 - Easter in the Park, a free community egg hunt at Peavy Park, 610 Johnston Road, 9:30 a.m. to noon.
  • April 19 - Passport to Parenthood & Dad's the Basics class for expectant fathers and mothers, at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, Bldg 794, 8:30 a.m. to noon. The class will provide information about good nutrition, car seat safety, TRICARE, and dental care.
  • April 22 - An awareness and prevention information table will be set-up at the Base Exchange from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 30 - Car seat safety checks, sponsored by Safe Kids of Houston County, at the Wal-Mart on Watson Boulevard from 10 a.m. to noon.
Mary Hodgkins, family advocacy officer, said education is the first step to prevention.

"An overwhelming majority of reports involve ordinary people who are caught up in stressful situations," she said. "When they have access to the tools and support services they need, they can better understand their children's emotional, physical and developmental needs."

She emphasized the importance of immediately reporting concerns about a child who may be abused or neglected. Parents should also let their children know they can talk with a trusted adult if they're concerned about things which have happened to themselves or a friend.

For more information, call the Family Advocacy Office at 497-8398.