Events put spotlight on Child Abuse Prevention Month

Two public events, 30 children cut outs and dozens of informational items being spread throughout the community detail how Child Abuse Prevention Month is being put in the spotlight by Child Abuse Prevention Services, based in Marshalltown.

“It’s all about awareness that child abuse can and is being prevented and locally there are services to help do that,” said Laurie Gowdy, community relations director of CAPS. “It’s important not only to draw awareness to the prevention month, but maybe people will think about services provided in the community and how they can help.”

A new event this year as part of the recognition of the month will be a family walk at 10 a.m. April 12 around the pond at the Timber Creek Recreation Area, 609. E. Southridge.

“We hope that it will be an event for families,” Gowdy said.

Gowdy said stations will be set up around the pond and children can get stickers for stopping at each station. There will be activities at the park to support child abuse prevention and violence prevention. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Marshall Town Center.

CAPS will hold its annual Stand Up For Children event from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. April 25 on the Marshall County Courthouse lawn. Leaders in the community will talk about how they stand up for children in their personal or professional lives.

Gowdy and CAPS staff are also putting blue cut outs of silhouettes of children around Marshalltown to remind people of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“We want to get people thinking about kids and thinking about childhood,” Gowdy said.

The latest child abuse figures from 2012 noted a decrease in child abuse in Marshall County.

“One kid being abused is too much, but we are happy those numbers are going down,” Gowdy said.