Whaley Children’s Center is partnering with community members to raise awareness about the local epidemic of child abuse and neglect through the Paint Our Town Blue campaign.
Representatives from the local judicial system and criminal justice system, health care, education, nonprofits, small businesses, the finance sector, private foundations, DHS, and the offices of our elected Senators and Representatives have formed a committee charged with the responsibility of raising awareness of the atrocities happening to local children.
In 2012 (the most recent year data is available), there were 678, 810 substantiated cases of abuse and neglect nationally—a number experts believe is 50%-60% higher. Of that number, 33,434 were Michigan children. This same year, 1,640 children died around the country directly as a result of abuse and neglect. 63 of those children were from Michigan. From 2008 to 2012, 326 children have tragically died in Michigan.
6 children under the age of 2 were murdered last year in Genesee County. Another 12 under the age of two years died in issues closely related to abuse and neglect.
“Something needs to be done,” said Kevin Roach, President & CEO of Whaley Children’s Center. “We’ve decided to take a stance and fight back. The innocent children who senselessly died will have a legacy that was a catalyst for change.”
The Paint Our Town Blue campaign will run throughout the month of April—the national Child Abuse Prevention Month. Local businesses will display pinwheels, the national symbol of child abuse prevention, in their shops to bring attention to this issue throughout the month.
We were amazed at the overwhelming response and support from the community,” said Katrina Khouri, Director of Development at Whaley Children’s Center. “The group we convened found these numbers to be unacceptable and feel empowered to make changes in our community.”
To learn more or get involved with the Paint Our Town Blue Campaign, please contact Katrina Khouri at (810) 234-3603.
Whaley Children’s Center is an independent, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1926 that provides residential child care services to children age 5- 17 years old who have suffered chronic and profound abuse and neglect. The services provided to children and families include residential treatment, group homes, and family counseling and aftercare service. To learn more about Whaley Children’s Center, visit www.whaleychildren.org.