Break the cycle

April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. While the Family Support Council of Douglas County is continuously working to build awareness within the County regarding issues of child abuse prevention, we want to highlight child abuse prevention tools this month. Providing community members with tools for prevention empowers community members with information and therefore the ability to break the cycle of abuse.

A positive step might be to examine one's own parenting practices. People tend to parent their children in the same manner as they were parented. Take a self-check. Keep the skills that are working and replace practices that are not producing positive results. A parenting class can fine tune skills. Examples of good parenting then provide helpful tools for the next generation.

As a community, Douglas County works to build strong children inside and out. The teachers, soccer coaches, babysitters, law enforcement, judicial system, dance teachers, after-school tutors, all of the people who touch children's lives have the potential to hear children and to be their voices. Listening is a powerful step in awareness of child abuse.

Child Abuse Awareness Month is symbolized with a blue ribbon. In the spring of 1989 a Virginia grandmother began the blue ribbon campaign as a tribute to her grandson. The three year old died at the hands of his mother's abusive boyfriend.

"One day I was just thinking about all the bruises I had seen on the grandchildren, especially on (my grandson's) head," said the grandmother. "I just decided to tie a blue ribbon on my van. Why blue? I intend never to forget the battered bodies of my grandchildren. Blue serves as a constant reminder to me to fight for the protection of our children."

Take action regardless of how small it may seem. Often the difference is due to one person stepping up or speaking out. Help promote awareness by stopping in the Family Support Council or one of the other many community agencies and businesses and pick up your blue ribbon that Douglas High School students so graciously tied for FSC. Wear your ribbon each day in April, without fail, until it is tattered and frayed. By wearing the ribbon you are telling your family, friends and community that you are joining the crusade against child abuse and neglect.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 20 and join the Parents and Children Together Department of FSC for an open house presenting a plethora of practical practices, particulars for perusal and plentiful play for pee wees in an effort to keep the children of Douglas County safe from the cycle of child abuse. For more information, call Family Support Council at 782-8692 or stop by the office at 1255 Waterloo Lane.

Family Support Council is funded by private donations as well as grants from The Smallwood Foundation, Nevada Children's Trust, Family to Family Connection and The Partnership of Community Resources through a grant from the State Incentive Grant.

n Teri Clark is the parent educator for the Family Support Council of Douglas County.

Students tie blue ribbons

Students in Dori Draper's service learning class at Douglas High School tied 850 of about 1,600 blue ribbons and attached them to information cards. Amanda Garcia, in 10th grade, said everybody in the class participated.

"Jenn from the Family Support Council told us about what it was all about," said Amanda. "We learn about different groups. We tied purple ribbons for domestic violence, too."

Ribbons are available at the three Gardnerville grocery stores - Raley's, Scolari's and Smith's.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment