Exchange Club works to raise awareness of child abuse

 
Staff Report
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During this week, Monday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 5, the Waynesboro Exchange Club will be distributing helpful informational brochures on child abuse and free blue light bulbs as part of its Blue Light of Hope Campaign to promote prevention of child abuse.

Unfortunately, child abuse is widespread, affecting children of all ages – from babies only a few months old to teenagers. It happens to both boys and girls, and often results in life-long trauma or death. Tragically, the majority of child abuse occurs in their homes — due to such factors as parental stress, unrealistic expectation of a child, lack of understanding of child development, drug and alcohol abuse, marital difficulties, domestic violence and mental illness.

The placement of candles with blue bulbs in windows to help create awareness and prevention of child abuse is a practice that has grown out of the blue ribbon campaign which originated in 1989 when Bonnie Finney of Virginia tied a blue ribbon to the antenna on her car as a tribute to her three year old grandson who died at the hands of his abusive father.

The Waynesboro Exchange Club is encouraging individuals, businesses and churches to embrace children who have been emotionally, physically or sexually abused or neglected by displaying a candle with a blue bulb in a window of their home, business or church during this holiday season. Such displays communicate values — instead of being abused, children must be honored, loved and cherished.

For more information, call 540.886.6800 or 540.932.9770; for additional information about child abuse prevention, intervention and treatment, view Childhelp (www.childhelp.org), Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/whatiscan.cfm) and related sites provided by an Internet search.

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