April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Sun News Service
NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. and#8212; Child abuse and neglect can hit close to home in Nevada County and#8212; especially because it usually takes place in the home.
and#8220;Less than 5 percent of abuse is and#8216;stranger danger.’ The other 95 percent is friends and family,and#8221; said Lenda Welz, board chair of the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Western Nevada County.
According to Child Help USA, over three million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States. Almost five children die every day as a result of child abuse.
The Child Abuse Prevention Council works with area agencies, including the Community Support Network of Nevada County, to raise awareness and prevent child abuse.
and#8220;Virtually anything that supports families in a deterrent to child abuse,and#8221; Welz said. and#8220;If you minimize frustration in a family, you are minimizing the amount of child abuse. It goes hand-in-hand.and#8221;
She credits organized youth programs and mentoring as key preventative tools.
and#8220;One of the things helping insofar as neglect is after-school programs, both in child abuse prevention and in drug prevention for underage kids,and#8221; Welz said. and#8220;Any program that keeps kids involved is going to keep them safe and secure.and#8221;
Budget cuts pose a threat to these programs, however.
and#8220;The school activities that keep kids involved are the first things that get cut,and#8221; Welz said. and#8220;If people aren’t spending their taxes on schools, they need to be spending their time.
and#8220;You mentor children, you are part of a solution.and#8221;
KARE Crisis Nursery provides emergency respite and day care, and Child Advocates of Nevada County offers programs for abused and neglected children.
and#8220;The idea that child abuse is (always at the hands of) a man needs to be dispelled,and#8221; Welz said. and#8220;Not all child abuse is sexual, and not all neglect is drug-related.and#8221;
The Child Abuse Prevention Council will host a public meeting focused on mentoring during the Community Support Network’s monthly forum, 3:30 to 5 p.m. today at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City.
The Community Support Network is hosting a free Celebrating Families activities fair on April 30 at Hennessey School in Grass Valley.
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