Hayneville supports child abuse, neglect awareness month
By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal
The city of Hayneville is partnering with the Family Sunshine Center to help raise awareness about the frequency and danger concerning child abuse and neglect.
A tree around the courthouse has been decorated with blue ribbons to signify the national symbol for child abuse prevention.
One incident of child maltreatment in the state of Alabama is one too many, said Mayor Helenor Bell.
Family Sunshine Center is a nonprofit agency which brings shelter, hope and healing to victims of family violence in the counties of Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes and Montgomery.
Children who experience neglect and abuse are more likely to have difficulty succeeding in school, experience developmental delays and suffer long-term mental and physical health problems.
Reports from the Family Sunshine Center state that many of the people who are presently incarcerated in jails and prisons throughout the state are former victims of child abuse.
Child abuse and neglect costs Alabama taxpayers an estimated $520,800,290 per year.
In 2006, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System estimated 1,530 child fatalities of which most occurred among children less than one year old. Translated, these occurrences happen to 2.04 children per every 100,000.
More than 10,000 children were reported as victims of child abuse and neglect in 2004 alone and many child fatalities happen more of by people responsible for the child’s supervision and care.
“It is important to us as community leaders to consider the impact of child abuse and neglect in our cities, states and nations not only for the sake of generations to come, but also because of the economic impact it has on our governments and citizens,” said Bell.
Executive Director of the Family Sunshine Center, Karen Sellers, commented on the city of Hayneville’s participation in the issue.
“We are so pleased that Mayor Helenor Bell and the city of Hayneville have agreed to help us bring awareness to the problem of child abuse and neglect around our service area, and blue ribbon around your antenna during April, Child Abuse Awareness Month,” said Sellers.