Press Release - April 5, 2012

Contact:  Kelly Bachman
302-633-2501 or 302-299-9791

State Launches Month-Long Awareness Effort to Stop Child Abuse

Mandatory Reporting Outreach Subcommittee Sponsors Campaign

WILMINGTON – Governor Jack Markell and Secretary Vivian Rapposelli of the Delaware Children’s Department joined community partners, child advocates and legislators this afternoon to formally launch a statewide, month-long awareness campaign to stop child abuse in Delaware. Coinciding with April as National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month, the efforts focus on encouraging citizens to recognize the signs of abuse and promoting the 24-hour child abuse and neglect report line number people should call to report suspected cased of abuse or neglect.

The campaign includes billboards in English and Spanish, which are located throughout the state, as well as radio advertisements that will be broadcast on several Delmarva Broadcasting Company stations.

“Child abuse is far too common,” said Governor Markell. “No child should ever be subject to violence, terror, fear or pain.  We all have a responsibility to protect our children.”

The campaign is being sponsored by the Child Protection Accountability Commission and the Child Death, Near Death and Stillbirth Commission’s Mandatory Reporting Outreach Subcommittee. The group includes representation from the Delaware Department of Justice, Delaware Children’s Department, Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware, Children & Families First, Office of the Child Advocate, Prevent Child Abuse Delaware and Child Death, Near Death & Stillbirth Commission. A “Protecting Delaware’s Children” charitable fund has been established to fund this initiative, and ongoing outreach efforts, through the Delaware Community Foundation.

Last year in Delaware, over 14,000 reports of child abuse, neglect, and dependency were received by the Division of Family Services. Sadly, research shows that as much as 75% of incidents of child abuse go unreported.

“Our children are our future – our responsibility,” said Secretary Rapposelli. “We hope our efforts to raise awareness will make an impact on our communities and encourage people to be more proactive in helping to keep our children safe.”

The Delaware Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, dependent, or have behavioral health or substance abuse problems, and/or have be adjudicated delinquent by the Courts.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the 24-hour Report Line: 1-800-292-9582. For more information, please visit www.ISeeTheSigns.org or www.kids.delaware.gov


**MEDIA ADVISORY ** - March 30, 2012

State Launches Month-Long Awareness Effort to Stop Child Abuse

WHO

Governor Jack Markell and Secretary Vivian Rapposelli, along with representatives from the Delaware Department of Justice, Delaware Children’s Department, Children’s Advocacy Center of Delaware, Children & Families First, Office of the Child Advocate, Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, and Child Death, Near Death & Stillbirth Commission.

WHAT

Partner agencies of the Mandatory Reporting Awareness Subcommittee are launching a month-long awareness effort to coincide with April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The campaign will feature billboards throughout the State in English and Spanish, as well as radio ads on several Delmarva Broadcasting Company stations.

WHY

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Last year in Delaware, over 14,000 reports of child abuse, neglect, and dependency were received by the Division of Family Services. Sadly, research shows that as much as 75% of incidents of child abuse go unreported.

Child abuse is far too common in Delaware and across the U.S., but we can all play a role in eliminating these crimes through increased awareness and recognition. This month-long awareness campaign provides community and state agencies with an opportunity to educate the public on recognizing the signs of abuse, who to call to report suspected abuse or neglect and how to help put an end to abuse.

WHEN

Thursday, April 5, 2012, at 2 p.m.

WHERE

Governor Jack Markell’s Dover Office
Tatnall Building
William Penn Street, 2nd Fl.
Dover, DE 19901