Written by Lauren Buser. Media by Baylen Whitfield. [divide]
“Man charged in 3-year old’s death.” Those are the words that rang out through the news in February 2010. Zylin Seth Reese, a cousin of a Greenville College student, passed away from injuries inflicted by the man babysitting him. Six years later, it still affects the family of this little boy, and they strive to keep people informed and aware of signs of abuse.
These statistics on child abuse are from the American Humane Association. The following are statistics from 2005:
- Neglect 62.8%
- Physical abuse 16.6%
- Sexual abuse 9.3%
- Emotional/psychological abuse 7.1%
- Medical neglect 2.0%
- Other 14.3%
Neglect is the most prominent form of abuse in the world. There’s a story of a reporter who walked into a nursery in a hospital in Uganda. While there were hundreds of infants in the room, there were no cries. The reason? After their screams are neglected for so long, they give up crying for they know that no one is coming back for them. That is a prime example of the neglect in our world.
As for Zylin and many other children, physical abuse can mean they don’t get a chance at life. It is a serious tragedy when someone who has just started living, has their life taken from them. “I think that people being aware of the signs of child abuse can help the victims,” states Deja Sawyer, a social work major here at Greenville College. “Some things to be aware of are children who are withdrawn and quiet, and also kids who tend to wear long sleeves.”
Something to remember is that no deed is too small. There isn’t a step that won’t make a difference. Each year, there is a Presidential Proclamation given in April explaining how they recommit to ensuring each child’s right to a safe and educated life. In the 2016 Presidential Proclamation, President Obama states, “Preventing child abuse is an effort that we must undertake as one American family, and in our schools, neighborhoods and communities, we must look after every child as if they are our own.”
Prevent Child Abuse America is a website that helps prevent child abuse using pinwheels. Their campaign, Pinwheels for Prevention, raises money and awareness for abused children. This campaign chose a pinwheel because it is child-like and whimsical. They believe we play a role in all children’s lives because our children are our future. These simple, blue pinwheels are on sale on their website. Sometimes the simplest things, such as handing out blue pinwheels, can make all the difference.
Children die every day from abuse and neglect. It’s time for all of us to make whatever stand we can. The child abuse awareness ribbon is a blue ribbon. So, if you feel like you can’t make a difference, know that you can! Wear a blue ribbon to raise questions. People will ask you what it’s for and you might influence others to help raise awareness! Also, look into websites that help to raise awareness. Believe it or not, there are so many to choose from that have papers you can print and ways to raise awareness. So, get out there and help fight child abuse!