Paint town blue campaign to help prevent child abuse - WNEM TV 5

Paint town blue campaign to help prevent child abuse

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Social advocates hope you will paint the town blue in April to prevent child abuse.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Communities throughout Mid-Michigan are getting involved.

It is a silent epidemic that impacts more than 2,000 children in Genesee County.

"Ninety percent of children who are victims of child abuse, they know their perpetrator. And it's a caregiver, it's a parent, it's a family member, it's a friend of the family," said Claudnyse Jenkins, executive director of Weiss Child Advocacy Center.

Four local non-profit organizations are teaming up to urge people to wear blue and speak up against child abuse.

"It takes us as adults speaking up for those children when we see something that doesn't look right or we get that weird feeling in our stomach. Calling child protective services or calling law enforcement to allow them to investigate so that we can protect those children," Jenkins said.

Many of the cases that go to the Weiss Child Advocacy Center for evaluation also involve adults who had a feeling something wasn't right, but never said anything.

"Just imagine if those adults had spoken up. Those children would not have had to continue to go through what they went through," Jenkins said.

Forms of abuse can range from sexual, neglect, sex trafficking, physical and emotional.

Whaley Children's Center is currently at capacity housing 42 children from all across Michigan who have dealt with severe forms of child abuse.

"The kids who come to Whaley have been to about four to six different foster care homes before they even make it to our center," said Sam Roth, with Whaley.

Local non-profits are hoping next month's Paint Our Town Blue campaign will help more children get the support, counseling and advocacy they need.

"Child abuse can become a thing of the past. We are hoping that together we can have Genesee County speak up and really make sure that no child has to ever be hurt again," Roth said.

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