Preventing child abuse a civic duty

Published 4:05 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You may have noticed the blue ribbons hanging on the doors of many of the businesses around town.

Those ribbons are part of a campaign to raise awareness of child abuse within our own county and nationwide. The campaign coincides with the month of April, which has been designated as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

It seems that every month is designated to raise awareness for something, but it’s unlikely that many of the designations are more important than this month’s.

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Child abuse is a heinous crime.

It takes on many forms — physical, verbal, sexual and emotional — and the scars it creates can bring a devastating lifelong impact.

Our local law enforcement does its best to keep our children safe, as evidence by the recent arrest of a Greenville man who was involved in sending obscene material to a child via the Internet.

Organizations such as the Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center do their best to help victims cope in the aftermath of abuse.

But what we should all remember is that child abuse is not just a law enforcement issue. It’s not simply an issue for social workers. It is a community issue.

It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent child abuse. We would argue that taking an active role in child abuse prevention is our civic obligation.

As a community we must be proactive in preventing child abuse.

So how do we, as a community, help?

Well, first of all we can support organizations like the Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center, which depends heavily on donations and volunteers. For just $10 we can buy a blue ribbon to hang on your door this month.

That money will help provide support for victims of abuse.

Most importantly, we need to be informed and aware that child abuse isn’t something that happens somewhere else. It happens right here, and we all share in the responsibility of putting a stop to it.