By Patti Fay Hickox
March 29, 2010
April is "National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month." In Alaska, for the last 12 years, we have been doing this awareness campaign with "Mint Green Ribbons." 12 years ago two women from Kenai made 1000 mint green ribbons with Forget-me-knots embroided in the middle. These ribbons were distributed up north and to Juneau. At a "Stand up for Kids" rally in Juneau we saw the ribbons and we brought the idea to Ketchikan and South Southeast Alaska.
These women were sexually abused as children. We decided to include all child abuse and neglect in our "Mint Green Ribbon" awareness program. The "Mint Green Ribbon" committee also prints up a pamphlet with the latest information on what is child abuse and neglect and where to go for help. This includes all South Southeast Alaska. In 2009 there were 185 reports of harm against children. There are 98 registered sex offenders in this area. Alaska has the highest rate of domestic violence and child abuse in the country. Why? I don't know. Maybe our high rate of alcoholism and drug abuse. Maybe it is our wilderness living and no one to report the harm. Maybe it is our independent spirit and we don't want to get involved in someone's business. Whatever! If children are getting hurt, it is our business to stop it. If you thinks something is wrong say "STOP IT" and report it to the right people. Ribbons and pamphlets will be at WISH, Gateway Center, KIC, Public Health and in Saxman.
For more information on this very serious problem or you want to donate to the cause of preventing abuse and neglect go to: www.ridalaskaofchildabuse.org
Patti Fay Hickox
Received March 29, 2009 - Published March 29, 2010
Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.