SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Schoolchildren waved small flags during a ceremony at Springfield City Hall on Tuesday to raise awareness of child abuse.
Mayor Domenic Sarno joined the children, as well as adult advocates, for the ceremony Tuesday morning, which coincides with April being Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Those speaking at Tuesday’s event told 22News their goal was to discuss the importance of healthy children and the community’s role in making that a priority.
Joan Kagan from Square One, a family and child service center, spoke at the ceremony, which was sponsored by the Center for human Development. She told 22News that it’s a community responsibility to make sure an abused child knows how to get help.
“Oftentimes, the child knows the abuser and it is someone who is close to them,” Kagan said.
Kagan also said that the estimated cost of child abuse to the nation is $124 billion per year, but that with the right kind of community programs, much of that cost can be lowered. According to the Child Welfare League of America, nearly 3 million children are reportedly abused and neglected each year in the United Sates.
For help with a situation involving child abuse you can call one of the following:
The Child and Family services of the Pioneer Valley, (413)-733-6624
Baystate Family Advocacy Center, (413)-794-9816
Square One, (413)-732-5183