Say “No” To Child Abuse

April 28, 2014 | Chicago, IL

It has been estimated that child abuse kills 1,640 children a year in the United States. This April, Erie House recognized Child Abuse Prevention Month with a Say “No” to Child Abuse event.

On April 8th, Erie’s Little Village staff, volunteers and participants welcomed over 100 guests and members of the community with blue ribbons, information about child abuse, and materials on where to get help if child abuse is suspected. Blue has become a symbol of the wish for all children to be able to grow up free of harm and full of positivity. Erie’s blue ribbons were tied to the gates that protect Little Village’s doors to honor that wish.

Erie’s House is a place in Little Village where children come to receive academic support and their parents come to seek education and emotional support through its programs. Ana Mosqueda, Erie House Intake Specialist at Little Village, explains that many of the parent participants are immigrants, coming from countries, “where they were raised with punishment and submit to fear. They don’t know how punishment affects the relationship with their children. They now need the tools to raise their children in a positive environment and understand the laws of this country and break this cultural barrier.”

Mosqueda explains that not only is it the culture difference, but because of the economic state of most of the families in this community, parents can be stressed or dealing with undiagnosed mental health issues. Little Village’s Proyecto Cuidate program is designed to help them to identify these different emotions and issues that may lead them to lash out and result in abuse. Proyecto Cuidate is also helping to promote mental health awareness, which is an issue that is very taboo in many participants’ cultures.

The READs program, which is focused on providing academic support to school age students and promoting community literacy, used the week prior to the event to talk to the children about their families and read about positive relationships within families. They were asked to paint a picture of their favorite family activity to promote healthy relationships.

When the big day arrived, Erie House used it as an opportunity to pass out information about the issue of child abuse to families and identify where those that may encounter child abuse can get help. They also took this time to bring families together, inviting children’s parents to come and show their support to their children.

Those that participated in Say “No” to Child Abuse were asked to make a blue hand print to advocate for the issue of child abuse. To learn more about programs offered by Erie House’s Little Village location, please contact Sandy DeLeon at sdeleon@eriehouse.org. Or, if you suspect a child is being hurt please call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873).

 

 

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