Child Abuse Awareness in Southern Oregon

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The Child Abuse Network, known as “CAN”, is hoping to raise awareness about the realities and prevalence of child abuse in southern Oregon.

Today, people gathered in Alba Park for the 6th annual event that shares personal stories from local victims as a way to raise awareness.

565 pennies were placed along the sidewalks in Alba Park to  represent each child who was abused in Jackson County and whose case was resolved by a judge in 2012.

The CAN volunteers say some people step over the pennies, too busy to stop for just 1 cent.  Others can see the value in every coin- and every kid.

Child advocates say the majority of those cases are a combination of sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

State-wide, there were 22,582 reports of child abuse investigated by DHS in 2012. About 15 percent of those were in Southern Oregon.

Health and Human Services experts say one of the biggest hurdles in reducing the number of abuse cases is to remove the taboo and talk about it.

There are many ways to help create change and protect kids in our community.

Many agencies are in need of monetary donations and/or volunteers.

In Jackson County those include: CASA, the Family Nurturing Center, Children’s Advocacy Center, Living Opportunities, Magdalene Home, the Pregnancy Center, Redemption Ridge, Southern Oregon Goodwill, Southern Oregon Head Start, and United Way’s The BIG IDEA.

If you suspect someone you know is being abused, you should contact law enforcement or DHS. But these agencies can help you file that report and start to get help immediately.

Here is a link to some helpful information about child abuse in Oregon.