The town of Lebanon has once again turned blue for the month of April as a way to symbolize the plight of abused children. Volunteers tied blue ribbons around trees around the city, and the police department hosted the annual Walk a Mile a Child event at the justice center on April 9.

Blue pinwheels were given out at the event so people could decorate the justice center with them in a pinwheel garden. Why blue? Because blue represents bruises on abused kids, and the pinwheels symbolize peace.

This year all the speakers at the Walk a Mile for a Child event reminded attendees to pay attention to the issue past the month of April, the month child abuse awareness is dedicated to.

In recognition of child abuse awareness month we are reminding citizens to be alert to the signs of child abuse. So what constitutes abuse? The ABC House child abuse intervention center offers the following definitions:

Physical Abuse

Hitting or pinching hard enough to leave a mark which does not go away right away

Burning with a cigarette, lighter, iron, stove top burner or other instrument which leaves an injury

Biting hard enough to leave a mark or break the skin

Choking, pinching, kicking or pushing in to walls or objects

Neglect

Failure to provide basic needs and care dependent upon the age of a child. Basic needs are described as food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care and supervision.

Emotional Abuse

When someone who cares about a child calls them names that are really mean

Telling a child they are stupid, worthless or a mistake

Making fun of a child until it hurts them

Telling a child they are never good enough and can’t do anything right

Every speaker at the Walk a Mile for a Child Event reminded the crowd that child abuse awareness isn’t just for the month of April. So remember to be alert for all of the above signs the entire year.

For more information on the ABC House, visit abchouse.org.

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