April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and local organizations have banded to together to bring more awareness. “We partnered with several other organizations in the community to plan a month of events making sure we are bringing awareness to the issue of child abuse in our area,” said Katie McCory, Program Manager of the Mississippi Valley Child and Protection Center. “In 2015, in the state of Iowa, there were 24,298 assessments of child abuse reported,” added McCory. “About 72% of those cases are neglect cases.”
On Wednesday, April 5 a pinwheel will be planted at the Muscatine County Courthouse. “The pinwheel captures the essence that every child deserves a great childhood,” said McCory.
The Mississippi Valley Child and Protection Center is a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that responds to active cases of abuse. “We work with law enforcement and other entities. We aid with forensic interviews and other aspects of the investigation. But we also do a lot of education so we can provide information and educational materials for your company or organization,” said McCory.
In addition to the pinwheel garden, the Center is promoting Blue-Out Day on April 19. The community is encouraged to wear blue. “We want people to take pictures in their blue clothes and tag it with #greatchildhoodmuscatine.”
There are so many different signs that we can see in children that are being abused, whether they withdraw or they act out. Or the signs of hygiene changes or constantly [being] tired. Please always call the Iowa Child Abuse Hotline at 800-362-2178,” said McCory.