April is recognized as National Child Abuse Awareness Month. On April 1, 2017, Governor Asa Hutchinson signed an official proclamation deeming the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. As Governor Hutchinson mentions in his proclamation, there were more than 35,000 reports of child maltreatment just in Arkansas just last year, which included acts of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, and neglect/abandonment. Out of those 35,000 reports, close to 10,000 were found to be true and thus forth investigated. Furthermore, based on information published from the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, the percentage of allegations found to be true, increased a staggering 22% from the previous year. It was also determined that 41 of the 10,000 substantiated cases resulted in a child fatality!
According to the Arkansas Children’s Trust Fund, “When we invest in healthy child development, we are investing in community and economic development. Unfortunately, children are sometimes exposed to extreme and sustained stress like child abuse and neglect, which can undermine a child’s development. This toxic stress damages the developing brain and adversely affects an individual’s learning and behavior, as well as increases susceptibility to physical and mental illness and involvement in delinquent and/or criminal activities, and makes academic achievement more difficult.”
With that being said, the BRTC Community Connections Club along with our Student Government Association invites you to join our community and our nation as we walk in honor of the innocent victims of child abuse. This year marks the second year for this annual event, complete with a one mile Pinwheel Walk/Run, t-shirt sales, blue prevention bracelet sales, face-painting, tons of fantastic door prizes, awareness & prevention tips from community leaders and local law enforcement officials and so much more!
The Pinwheel Walk/Run will follow with our traditional Pinwheel Garden ceremony in which we will plant pinwheels in remembrance of the many innocent lives lost as a result of child abuse. The pinwheel garden also serves as a symbol of our commitment to preventing child abuse and providing a great childhood for ALL our children.
So come, bring your friends and families, and walk with us on Wednesday, April 19 in the RCDC multi-purpose room at 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $15 for BRTC students, faculty and staff and $20 for the community. This fee includes a t-shirt.! It’s time we take a stand against all forms of child abuse in our state and in our great nation!
“One voice can make a difference, a million can change the world.”