Omaha – In 1983, during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, April was set aside as National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month as a way of raising awareness for the issues of child abuse in America. The blue ribbon that's associated with child abuse, much as pink ribbons are associated with breast cancer, was first established in 1989, yet too few are aware of it even today.
To bring awareness about child abuse prevention to UNO’s campus, the Grace Abbott School of Social Work and the Phi Alpha Honor Society have launched a Blue Ribbon Campaign for the month of April. Every Wednesday from 11 AM to 1 PM in the MBSC Plaza and in front of CPACS, pre-social work and GASSW students will hand out 250 ribbons along with awareness and prevention information. An event for each Wednesday's campaign has been created on the GASSW Facebook.
Phi Alpha Honor Society has also planted a Pinwheel Garden in front of CPACS. The blue and silver pinwheels represent the great childhood that every child deserves, and the role we each play in providing a loving and supportive environment to the children in our lives.
Child abuse includes sexual assault, violence, physical abuse, emotional trauma, and neglect. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 50% of youth will experience child abuse in their lifetime. In Nebraska, 3,691 children experienced maltreatment in 2015 alone (Voices for Children). In the State of Nebraska, every adult is a mandatory reporter of child abuse. Every adult, nineteen or older, who has reason to suspect that a child is being harmed must report it to the Child Abuse Hotline or to law enforcement. All reports are confidential and Nebraska statutes protect the reporter from any liability.
If you suspect abuse may be taking place in a certain home or relationship but not at that moment, call the Nebraska Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999 and describe the situation and location. You may remain anonymous. If you believe a child is in imminent danger, call 9-1-1 to help that child.
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