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Child abuse in recession growing rapidly

Posted by Sandra On March - 29 - 2010

Larry Hendricks Connie Cordain, licensed marriage and family therapist, speaks with guests prior to her presentation at the annual kick-off of Child Abuse Prevention Awarness Month, during a luncheon sponsored by the Coconino County Coalition for Children & Youth Friday. (Larry Hendricks/Arizona Daily Sun)

“In the trenches.” The phrase need not refer to war, said Connie Cordain, a licensed marriage and family therapist, although fighting a war against neglect and abuse of children is noble.

Rather, asked Cordain, why not look at trenches the way a gardener would, where planting seeds ends in the cultivation and growth of a plant?

That was the message of this year’s kick-off of Child Abuse Prevention Month during a luncheon hosted by the Coconino County Coalition for Children & Youth Friday.

About 150 people from the criminal justice, law enforcement, education, social service and health care fields attended the event.

“Child abuse is real, which makes child abuse prevention necessary,” said David McIntire, president of the coalition.

The coalition’s mission is “to provide leadership in developing community-wide strategies that can enhance the well-being of children and youth in Coconino County,” according to information from the coalition.

Beginning her remarks, Cordain asked everybody to look across the room and at one another.

“Those here today represent that hope to strike down abuse,” Cordain said.

Cordain reminded the crowd of the painful year everybody has had as the recession deepened and budgets were cut. She painted a bleak picture of more youth committing suicide, living in homes with unemployed parents and living in poverty.

She spoke of children without health insurance and poor graduation rates.

STILL SOME GOOD NEWS

But, despite the setbacks, there’s still good news, Cordain.

“While it feels like we’re taking two steps forward and one step back, we are still moving forward to make change,” Cordain said, adding that the process sometimes takes decades.

Cordain said that according to an Annie E. Casey 2009 report, child abuse nationwide has decreased by more than 20 percent.

“Our work actually makes the lives of children safer,” she reminded the group.

She looked back at local events she considered good for youth — the school district bond override, expansion of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Flagstaff Project Connect, Girls on the Run and the Flagstaff Family Food Center reading room.

READ MORE:

http://www.azdailysun.com/news/local/article_14a77635-1221-5bec-bfed-187f713076e6.html










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OUR MISSION: To educate the public on child abuse signs & symptoms, statistics, intervention, reporting, prevention & assist victims & survivors in locating the proper resources necessary to enable & achieve a full recovery.

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