Butterfly Bridge holds prevention month ceremony

Published 12:49 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE| Managing Editor

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center held a designation for April as Child Abuse Prevention Month on April event.

Community leaders met on the Butterfly Bridge lawn to participate in the reading of the official proclamation, which was later signed by judges Chris Speaks and Jason Calhoun.

“Thank you all for coming out and being so concerned about children in our community,” Executive Director Jana Zuelzke said. “It truly does take a community, not just child serving organizations … to protect children an keep the vulnerable from being abused.”

As awareness, community members were encouraged to wear blue on Fridays.

Information about child abuse statistics was posted for those in attendance. Zuelzke said knowing about child abuse and how to prevent it is a key to keeping children safe. She also emphasized that children can “get better after abuse.”

“We need everybody to be aware,” Speaks said. “This pandemic has created a situation unlike any that we have ever faced, the normal ways that we would pick up and find out these things … through school and other activities that children are participating in have been cut out for two years. That two years that we have been unable to be aware and observe some of these situations … Please be aware. Contact someone if you see something that doesn’t look right.”

Butterfly Bridge served 144 children last year. A pinwheel representing each of these children was carried from the Butterfly Bridge office to Corner Park where it was planted in the pinwheel garden.

Butterfly Bridge board member D.J. Hines the pinwheel is a symbol for child abuse prevention and “represents hope, health and happiness.”

“We all have a responsibility to create communities that promote healthy environments for all children,” Hines said. “With the help of our community and all of the organizations involved daily to make sure hope, healing and justice is served for these children, we can help these children get their childhood’s back.”

Butterfly Bridge works with children who have been sexually or severely physically abused as well as those who have been witness to a crime.