Community leaders focus on child abuse prevention - WNEM TV 5

Community leaders focus on child abuse prevention

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The death of Jordan Algee Jr. comes as a Mid-Michigan county is struggling to get a handle on child abuse.

Community leaders are now coming together to raise awareness and help children in need.

“Genesee County has one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect and it’s just very, very important that we get the message out there,” said Mindy Prusa, president and CEO of Whaley Children’s Center.

Prusa said Genesee County is struggling with incidents of child abuse and it is time for people to speak up.

“If you ever, ever feel like something’s not right to please speak up. Call in a complaint. Let people go out there and investigate it. It could absolutely save a life,” Prusa said.

That is why she and other local leaders gathered on Thursday for “Paint Our Town Blue.” It’s a conference centered around preventing child abuse.

The conference encourages adults to speak up to help prevent child abuse. They are encouraged to wear the color blue and decorate with pinwheels.

“Pinwheels is a national symbol for child abuse prevention. It brings hope to the children to have a happy, bright childhood,” said Sam Roth, director of marketing for Whaley Children’s Center.

“We really just want to get the community involved and let them now you have a voice, use your voice,” said Angie Essenburg, forensic interviewer for the Weiss Advocacy Center.

Essenburg said the month of April is dedicated to child abuse prevention.

“On April 20, we want everyone to wear blue. It just kind of raises awareness. So if you see somebody wearing it, you know they’re wearing it for child abuse,” Essenburg said.

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