April is Blue Ribbon month. Now, most of you right now are saying, “What month?” Blue Ribbon is not as well known as Red Ribbon or even pink ribbon, but it is vitally important.
You see, Blue Ribbon month is about the prevention of child abuse. Over the past year, there have been some very high profile cases of children that have been abducted, molested and then killed. We recently had the return of Elizabeth Smart after nine months, but that, unfortunately is a rare occurrence.
But there are many cases that are not so high profile. These are the children whose own parents are hurting them. These are the children who do not get enough food. These are the children who go to school with bruises on their backs. These are the children who are being molested by the very people who should be keeping them safe.
In Orange County, as in every area of the United States and the world, children are hurt every day. Just in the month of January, there were 1,316 families reported to the Child Abuse Registry.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can all make this a safer place to be a child. If you see a parent stressed out over their child, offer to allow the child to come over your house until the parent has a chance to calm down. If you are about to do something that you do not want to do, call a friend, take a walk, take a time out, separate yourself from your child. If you know of a child being abused, please call the Child Abuse Registry at 940-1000. You can make this call anonymously.
Get a blue ribbon and wear it proudly and remind people that children are our most important resource. We need to treat them gently and lovingly. We need to make this a safe place to be a child.