Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
The Henry County Board of Supervisors approved a proclamation setting April as child abuse prevention month. Arin Jones of the Quad-County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children presented the proclamation at the meeting Thursday.
'Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is once again asking for April to be child abuse prevention month,' Jones said. 'It's an annual thing the organization does to bring awareness to the issue.'
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is a nonprofit organization based in Des Moines that works to prevent child abuse and treat those affected by abuse and neglect.
In addition to declaring April to be child abuse prevention month, the proclamation asked the Board of Supervisors to urge Henry County residents to increase their participation in building caring connections with families, thereby preventing child abuse and strengthening the community.
One of the ways residents can participate is by wearing blue on April 1. By wearing blue and posting to social media, residents can spread awareness about Child Abuse Prevention Month.
'Our children are our most valuable resource and will shape the future of Henry County,' Jones said. 'Child abuse and neglect directly harms children and increases the likelihood of long-term physical and mental health problems, alcohol and substance abuse, continued family violence and criminal behavior.'
As a part of the proclamation, Jones said a bit of history around child abuse and adverse childhood experiences study, which helps to understand the different negative long-term outcomes of child abuse and neglect.
'ACEs was a large study between the CDC and a health care organization in California in the ‘90s,' she said. 'There's been a lot of research done around it, but it was a groundbreaking kind of study with 17,000 people that showed that abuse and neglect affect children for their entire life.
'And it's not just things we think about, like mental health care,' she said. 'It was also things like diabetes, heart disease and a lot of physical things we don't necessarily connect back to a child's trauma.'
The research has helped organizations like Prevent Child Abuse Iowa and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children discover ways to help treat trauma and find ways to prevent abuse and neglect.
'The most effective factor or tool for resilience is one really stable, nurturing relationship with an adult during childhood,' Jones said. 'We may think that's not hard, but if you're in a family that's struggling, you realize that it's not something that's available for every kid.'