With 27,000 reported cases of child abuse in Illinois every year, state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, is calling on Southern Illinoisans to join him and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois in wearing blue on Friday, April 8 as a sign of commitment to preventing child abuse.
“The children in our community should never have to worry about their safety, let alone be a victim of child abuse,” Phelps said. “Unfortunately, child abuse cases are much more commonplace than they should be and I want Southern Illinois to take the lead in showing our commitment to preventing child abuse and reporting incidents.”
Since 1983, April has been declared Child Abuse Prevention Month as a way to spread awareness about child abuse as well as acknowledge the importance of programs that are working to prevent such incidents, such as The Women’s Center in Carbondale. Phelps wants local residents to participate in learning more about child abuse and be part of the movement to help prevent it from happening, which is why he’s calling on residents to join him in a day of action on April 8 by wearing blue. Parents and concerned citizens can also visitwww.preventchildabuseillinois.org/ for more information and to sign the Parent’s Pledge to support the protection of Illinois Children.
According to the National Child Abuse Hotline, the United States has one of the worst incidents of child abuse in comparison to other industrialized nations. Every day, on average between four to seven children die due to abuse and a report of child abuse is filed every 10 seconds. When a child experiences abuse, it can impact them for the rest of their lives in terms of mental health issues and a shorter life expectancy.
“We should do everything that we can to protect our children in Southern Illinois and it is important that we are all taking an active role in doing so,” Phelps said. “I encourage everyone to wear blue on April 8 and sign the pledge to protect our children. We can and must do more to ensure our children do not fall victim to this senseless crime.”
Brandon Phelps represents the 118th District in the Illinois General Assembly, which includes all or portions of Alexander, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, and Union counties.