Shield Our Children from Harm

The Child Advocacy Centers of the Child Protection Program and The Family Place have come together to form a collaborative effort called "Shield Our Children from Harm."

The focus of this collaboration is to address child maltreatment in ways that help significantly reduce the impact of child abuse in our communities. Our efforts focus on community education, and professional education.

We believe that:

  • Adults are responsible for shielding our children from harm.
  • Child maltreatment creates significant long-term health costs and social consequences.
  • Maltreatment during childhood and adolescence can have a devastating impact on an adult's capacity to be a productive member of society.
  • Healthy families are the cornerstone of healthy communities, and healthy communities nurture healthy children and families.
  • Everyone has the potential to help shield our children from harm and get involved.
  • Community leaders are essential to our successful reduction of the incidence of child maltreatment.
  • Coordination and collaboration of services are "best practice."
  • Joint fundraising and education betw een our organizations will bring greater resources to bear on the problem and solutions.

Child maltreatment in the U.S.

Child maltreatment is a serious threat for children in our country. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that as many as 43 of every 1000 U.S. children are harmed by abuse or neglect every year.

Over 3 million new suspected cases are reported each year in the U.S. Of this, nearly 800,000 cases are documented with over 1,700 documented deaths. Sexual abuse has become increasingly talked about and recognized in our country. An alarming number of victims have recently reported they have been abused by priests and other clergy, babysitters, relatives, scout leaders, teachers, coaches and other adults during the past 20 years. According to the organization Darkness to Light, as many as one in four girls and one in seven boys is sexually abused before their 18th birthday and only one in nine ever tell.

Child maltreatment is a social emergency. Between 1986 and 1993, government figures show that the number of children and adolescents seriously injured by abuse and neglect quadrupled, leading the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect to declare a child protection emergency. After this numbers indicated some improvement, but economic downturns usually mean increased abuse and neglect. As with other leading public health efforts, such as campaigns to reduce breast cancer, prostate cancer, and the ills of smoking, as child abuse professionals we know that effective measures to reduce child maltreatment require a broad community-wide approach.

Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Family Place and CHaD recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, a national campaign to increase local awareness of the problems of child maltreatment and the community and statewide efforts to end abuse. With this annual event we hope to educate the public, encourage people to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect, and let families in crisis know what help is available for them.

The Blue Ribbon Campaign

In the spring of 1989, Bonnie Finney, a grandmother from Virginia, tied a blue ribbon to her van. The ribbon served as a tribute to her grandson, who died as a result of child maltreatment. The ribbon also signified her personal commitment to involve everyone in the battle to stop child abuse. Before long, businesses and organizations throughout Virginia were displaying blue ribbons, conveying the important message that children need our protection.

Please join The Family Place Parent Child Center and CHaD each April as we celebrate Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month by proudly wearing your blue ribbon.

Shield our Children from Harm pins

Shield Our Children from Harm pin

These pins can be purchased for $5.00 by calling CAPP at (603) 653-3658 or The Family Place at (802) 649-3268.

Participating partners:

  • CAC at The Family Place
  • CAC of Grafton and Sullivan Counties at DHMC in Lebanon, NH
  • CHaD
  • DCF - Vermont - Hartford District
  • Hartford Police Department
  • Lebanon Police Department
  • Vermont State Police – Royalton Barracks
  • West Central Services

Contact us

For more information regarding community education or prevention tools please contact the Child Advocacy Center or The Family Place.