Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 10, 2013

Another View: 'It shouldn't hurt to be a child' in Mich.


---- — Of the many things we have to worry about, children’s safety should not be among them. Children are least able to protect themselves against abuse, yet society has not been able to guarantee their safety.

The most horrific examples of children being victimized remind us of the challenge we face in protecting our children. But there are many instances of abuse and neglect that aren’t spectacular. Still, they take their toll just the same.

In 2011, Michigan had 33,438 confirmed cases of abuse and neglect, the last year government statistics were available. The previous year, our state had the nation’s ninth-highest child-abuse rate.

St. Clair County has one of the highest rates of child abuse in the state. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report ranked the county with the state’s 10th-highest number of children in out-of-home care due to abuse or neglect in 2012. The county also had the ninth-highest number of investigated families.

St. Clair County saw 4,331 children living in homes investigated for child abuse or neglect in the county last year. The number of confirmed victims was 580.

The numbers are disturbing. They make a compelling case for increased efforts to protect our children. ...

... Children’s advocates in Michigan and throughout the nation are observing the month by raising public awareness and campaigning for stronger safeguards against children’s victimization.

The St. Clair County Child Abuse/Neglect Council has been marking the month since 1985. Today, blue ribbons, each with a tag explaining the month’s purpose, are tied around lamp posts throughout downtown Port Huron.

Child abuse is dispicable. In the face of growing abuse statistics in Michigan and the nation, greater awareness is essential.

As the St. Clair County Child Abuse/Neglect Council asserts, “It shouldn’t hurt to be a child.”

Times Herald, Port Huron