Marshall (KMSS) — Harrison County has about a hundred children in the care of child protective services.
Today a crowd gathered at Telegraph Park in Marshall to join the Harrison County Children Services Board in honoring Child Abuse Awareness Month.
During the ceremony the board secretary, Ashli Acker Dansby released shocking statistics.
She said every 11 seconds a child is reported abused or neglected; every 5 minutes a child is arrested for a violent crime; and every 2 hours a child is a victim of a homicide.
She explains that every year, in the US, three million children are admitted to child protective services.
Child abuse can happen anywhere from a public place like a playground or even at the comfort of your own home.
Angela Person, a volunteer and child abuse survivor.
"So many times i think we have the tendency to say it's not going to happen to me. Well that is not true. I grew up in a family. It was a very good Christian family. I grew up with people all around me that should have some of the the signs, but back in the day people just didn't talk about it."
Person says awareness is needed to prevent and stop the injustice that can destroy a child's innocence for life.
"if you look for the signs, if you look for what's going on, if you ask your children they will tell you, most of the time. All you have to do is just ask them 'How did your day go?' 'Who were you with?' "
Acker Dansby talks about a child who has been successful in life after surviving abuse and being taken into foster care. Sadly, she explains, children with a terrible past can be very negatively affected. Many even develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"Something as simple as a dress that's bought for a foster child, might trigger a memory that could bring out erratic behavior... and foster parents have to be prepared for that."
Agencies provide classes for foster parents to teach them how to help survivors cope--and many foster parents participate and volunteer.
Mrs. Charles Wilson of the Harrison County Children Services Board says they appreciate every person whose taken the time and effort to become a foster parent. Although, she says, they have about a hundred children in the system and they just don't have enough families to place them in--at least not locally.
Wilson is urging locals to look into becoming foster parents.
"Our children are placed as far away as Dallas, El Paso, but if we can get more families in Harrison County, then they would be nearer to our city, nearer home, nearer to people that they know."
They say all a child abuse or neglect survivor needs to succeed is love.
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