PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. During this time, child abuse prevention centers come together to recognize the important of preventing the horrible act.
And also during April is Children’s Memorial Flag Day.
According to Child Law Services Executive Director Cathy Wallace, it’s when local advocates join together and remember those who tragically suffered from abuse.
“Today is the day that we remember the children whose lives have been lost because of tragedy,” Wallace said.
At the Mercer County Courthouse, advocates spoke to the importance of remembering those who have been lost to child abuse. They also celebrated their decade’s long efforts on preventing abuse.
Three organizations were present. Child Law Services and Child Protect of Mercer County both celebrated 20 years of service, and the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia is celebrating 125 years.
The event concluded with County Commissioner Bill Archer ringing a bell to honor the West Virginia children who died from abuse in 2019. Afterwards, patrons of the ceremony held a remembrance walk around the courthouse.
“Child abuse is something that is so horrific that we tend to gloss over it, or think that it happens somewhere else or to people we don’t know, but it’s actually happening in all of our backyards.”
In 2019, 17 West Virginia children died from maltreatment, all but two of which were caused by abuse and neglect.
Anyone who suspects that child is being abused or neglected is encouraged to call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-352-6513