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Family Focus News

April 15, 2004

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Steve Jordahl, correspondent

Child-abuse prevention organizations are taking the opportunity to raise awareness about the suffering of victims.

This April, child-abuse prevention organizations like Love Our Children USA are observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month by asking people to wear blue ribbons and get involved.

"If they see a child being abused, it's got to be reported," said Love Our Children USA spokesman Ross Ellis. "I know people are really afraid to get involved, but it's critical."

Speaking up about abuse has been difficult for abuse survivor "Kathy," who makes it a point to talk with her daughter Jenny every day when she picks her up from kindergarten.

Kathy, who is determined to prevent the cycle of abuse from being passed on to her daughter, said even though it's difficult, and even at this early age, she communicates with Jenny about preventing abuse.

Still, communication about the topic has been very difficult for Kathy.

"I have been pretty withdrawn, pretty quiet, kind of always had my walls up," Kathy said. "I think, too, I was kind of embarrassed and self-conscious about my body or just everything in general."

Psychotherapist Joann Condie said Kathy's response to abuse is typical.

"(Victims of abuse) will isolate and they will shy away from relationship, or they will go into promiscuity," Condie said. "They will go into cycles that, sadly, will go from generation to generation until they get help and address the issue."

Getting help is a step towards breaking the cycle of abuse.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: The Love Our Children USA Web site contains more information about child-abuse prevention.

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