DuPage CASA raises awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month
In the first week of April, CASA of DuPage County will be recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month by tying blue ribbons to the trees along the walkways of the DuPage County Government Center Wheaton. DuPage County Chief Judge Kenneth Popejoy and Juvenile Court Judges Anthony Coco and Brian Jacobs will join staff and volunteer advocates from DuPage CASA to bring awareness to child abuse and neglect in DuPage County.
The Blue Ribbon Campaign began in the spring of 1989 when Bonnie Finney of Virginia tied a ribbon on her car to acknowledge the loss of her 3-year-old grandson who was a victim of abuse. She encouraged her neighbors to do the same to bring her community together to protect children. The blue ribbon has been the national symbol for child abuse ever since.
CASA of DuPage County encourages everyone in the community to play a role in keeping children safe. Join the effort and tie a blue ribbon to a tree in your neighborhood or wear one on your lapel. Participate in "Wear Blue" on April 9th to bring attention to the plight of abused and neglected children. And most importantly, if you see something that you think is just not right related to the safety of a child, call the DCFS hotline 1-800-25-ABUSE.
Other ways you can help are to reach out to your family, friends and neighbors who are parents if you see they are struggling, and offer support. Providing parents with a much-needed break will help promote healthy families and prevent potential future child abuse. Statistics show that abuse is generational, as one in three individuals who were abused themselves will later abuse their own children. We all need to help break the vicious cycle by doing our part this month and supporting our children, parents, and local community any way that we can!
"Damage from child abuse follows children into adulthood. They can develop post-traumatic stress, depression, and struggle with mental illness. By building strong children, we can avoid years of trying to repair broken adults. At DuPage CASA, we believe every child deserves a safe and permanent home," said Suzanne Skala, CASA of DuPage County executive director.
CASA of DuPage County is a nonprofit, community organization supporting children who have been abused or neglected by recruiting and training volunteer advocates to speak to their best interests in the court and in the community. The organization has 159 trained community volunteers who are actively advocating for more than 350 children annually. Learn more about CASA of DuPage County programs at www.dupagecasa.org.