In Ohio, and across this nation, the incidents and prevalence of child abuse and neglect have reached alarming proportions, and continue to rise everyday. Education and awareness on ways to prevent child abuse are key components at beginning to reduce the devastating effects child abuse has on children. As a measure to address this issue, I worked closely with my fellow colleagues on Senate Resolution 408, during the last General Assembly, to officially designate the month of April as National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in Ohio.
By promoting safety, awareness and dialogue, we can prevent abuse from happening in the first place and help keep our children safe. As a mother of two wonderful daughters, I strive to create a future where all children are nurtured to live happy, healthy, and productive lives; building strong families that will be cherished forever.
This year I was named Chair of the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, an organization with a mission to prevent child abuse and neglect through investing in strong communities, healthy families and safe children. We recently kicked off this year's Child Abuse Prevention Campaign, "Everyday Ohio Heroes," which seeks to highlight those who are working to prevent child abuse and neglect, making a difference in the lives of children and families in Ohio— people like you.
Through using techniques demonstrated by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund and the Franklin County Family and Children First Council, we can use a model of trauma-informed practices, training teachers, medical professionals and other service providers to work with families that are most at risk for perpetuating the cycle of violence and neglect. Every one of our efforts to draw attention to this problem can make a critical difference in the life of a child.
To help raise awareness this month, I invite you to join me in wearing blue on Ohio’s annual “Wear Blue” Day on April 8th. Join the thousands of Americans who have been, or know someone, who has been affected by child abuse. Let’s help put an end to this tragic epidemic.
If you or anyone else suspects child abuse, it is crucial you make the call to 855-O-H-CHILD. You may save the life of a child.
To learn more about Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month, please visit the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund website at http://www.jfs.ohio.gov/octf. If you have any questions, input on this effort or others, please contact my office at Kunze@OhioSenate or call (614) 466-5981.