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Children depend on adults to keep them safe

Deborah Van Bruggen

Family Support Council would like the community to become involved in April 1997’s child abuse prevention month. One way you as an individual can help is by stopping by the Family Support Council office and picking up a blue ribbon. We would ask that you would wear this ribbon every day in the month of April. the theme for this year is “Cherish The Child.”

when you wear your blue ribbon, and someone asks you why you are wearing it, you will have an opportunity to share that you want to cherish our children by bringing about an awareness that child abuse and neglect must be stopped.

Children who are abused suffer in many ways. Abuse and neglect can lead to painful injuries and serious medical problems. In severe cases, the damage can lead to permanent disability, mental retardation, even death. Children also suffer emotionally. Children depend on adults for security, acceptance and guidance. When adults harm or neglect them, their world becomes uncertain and frightening.

The emotional effects of abuse can last a lifetime. Some of the results from the abuse may be low self-esteem. Children naturally think that adults are always correct. So, abused children may grow. Later in life, the child may be unable to show his or her feelings – or to understand others’s feelings. Another issue may be problems with relationships. Poor emotional development and lack of trust can make meaningful relationships difficult.

We want to do all we can to prevent these scars from ever happening. Please help us get their message out how important it is to “Cherish Our Children.” Family Support is located at 1255 Waterloo Lane, Suite A, Gardnerville. If you have any questions or would be interested in helping out in other ways, please call Family Support (782-8692) and ask for Deborah Van Bruggen.

Editor’s note: Deborah Van Bruggen is the Parents and Children Together program for the Family Support Council.