Let's paint the community blue in support of child abuse prevention
Those who spent much time driving around town this past weekend probably noticed a few blue pinwheel gardens have popped up in different places around town.
Perhaps you have noticed people sporting blue ribbons or have come across locations where you can grab one and wear it for the rest of the month.
Sadly, the blue represents an unfortunate and ongoing problem throughout this country, child abuse. April is child abuse prevention month and the blue that people will be wearing as a show of support was chosen long ago by a grandmother whose grandson had been physically abused. The blue represents his bruising.
Obviously, no child should ever have to suffer the pain and fear that abuse can cause – but ours is an imperfect world and it still happens. Much like homelessness, drug abuse and other chronic issues we would love to completely eradicate, child abuse is a problem that will likely never completely disappear. It's enough to leave a person feeling jaded and helpless.
However, that is the worst approach we as a community can take and having a month dedicated to child abuse prevention is an excellent annual reminder of what everybody can do throughout the year to slow down this problem as much as possible.
Local events include a county court proclamation, putting an official stamp on Child Abuse Prevention Month in the community. A Darkness to Light training will be made available in Prineville mid-month to train adults to recognize the signs of child sex abuse and help prevent it.
For the Children will host a free family movie at Pine Theater next weekend, a chance for parents and children to get together and bond in a positive environment. Later in the month, Crook County Health Department and Good Bike Co. will team up to provide the Tired Bike Derby where kids can get minor bike repairs and receive a free helmet courtesy of For the Children.
Local residents should participate in as much of the festivities and trainings as they can. The greater the participation, the more visible the effort becomes and the more awareness of this issue is raised.
Also, this month serves as an excellent reminder for adults in the community that we need to remain vigilant when it comes to fighting child abuse. Educate yourself on the warning signs of abuse and learn who to contact. And above all, don't hesitate to speak up if something doesn't seem right. It's a cliché, but in this case it's true — better safe than sorry.
Let's paint Crook County blue this month and support the efforts to battle child abuse. Let's do our part to protect the children who can't protect themselves.