Wright-Patt supports National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Military Child Development Centers plant pinwheels around the base to raise awareness on child abuse. The Wright-Patterson Family Advocacy Program is hosting a number of events in April to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Victoria Boyton)

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Military Child Development Centers plant pinwheels around the base to raise awareness on child abuse. The Wright-Patterson Family Advocacy Program is hosting a number of events in April to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Victoria Boyton)

In observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Family Advocacy Program is hosting a number of fun and interactive events to empower participants to make a difference in the lives of children.

A Child Abuse Prevention Walk and burger burn will take place April 20 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Jarvis Fitness Center track in Kittyhawk area. All Wright-Patterson employees and their families are invited for food, lawn games, a fitness walk and other activities.

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Child abuse is the harm to, or neglect of, a child by another person. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States and those reports involve more than 6.6 million children every year, according to ChildHelp. Also, more than four children die as a result of child abuse every day, and three of every four children who die of child abuse will be under the age of 3.

Fortunately, there are things everyone can do to raise awareness and help prevent child abuse.

People can connect with the Wright-Patterson Family Advocacy Program. The program works to prevent domestic and child abuse and neglect by providing education and awareness programs for all members of the military community. A number of classes and workshops are aimed to help parents learn stress management skills, facilitate open communication and connect to helpful resources both on and off base.

In addition to participating in the Prevention Walk and burger burn, people are encouraged to take part in the Blue Ribbon Tree project and observe the Pinwheel Gardens around the base.

Active-duty, reserve, guard or civilian members are all an integral part of the Department of Defense workforce to promote positive parenting, encourage use of helping resources and encourage prompt reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Community members share responsibility for children’s safety and well-being.

Whether or not you’ve experienced domestic abuse personally, it can have devastating consequences. Victims carry the emotional scars of abuse long after they’re out of harm’s way. And abusers, if not stopped, can escalate the violence until they and their victims lose everything — family, career, self-respect and even their freedom.

To learn more about the events and how the Family Advocacy Program can help to prevent and end child abuse, contact the FAP office at 937-257-4608. If you suspect abuse of a child, report to Ohio’s Child Protective Services at 1-855-OH-CHILD (1-855-642-4453).

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