Bloomfield declares April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 10:12 PM CDT
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BLOOMFIELD, Iowa (KYOU) - April 1 marks the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month for most of the country. Thursday in Bloomfield, city council recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month for the city.

Ahead of the proclamation, dozens of blue pinwheels lined the Bloomfield Courthouse in recognition of the announcement from Mayor Weigand.

“Therefore, I, Dan Wiegand, Mayor, do hereby proclaim the month of April 2021 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Bloomfield, Iowa,” said Weigand at Thursday’s city council meeting.

One of the driving forces behind the proclamation was the Davis County Council for Child Abuse Prevention. The group has been working to end abuse and neglect in the area.

“It’s really important for our mayor to take the lead on that,” said Mari Melvin, one of the members of the council.

Melvin is the child abuse prevention coordinator at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, as well as a former teacher at Davis County Middle School.

“One of the myths, I guess, if you want to call it that, is we live in a small town. Everyone knows everybody, so it’s not happening here. But it is,” Melvin said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, reports of child abuse across the country decreased. But Melvin fears there could actually be a surge happening behind closed doors.

“We’re moving more and more towards kids going to school; and teachers are seeing those kids again, which is a good thing. But for a while, those kids were going unnoticed. No one was seeing them except the people in their home. And so child abuse wasn’t being reported,” Melvin explained.

The Davis County Council for Child Abuse Prevention is made up school officials, hospital officials, and others from a wide variety of backgrounds. The group holds meetings and other events in hopes of raising enough awareness on the topic to eventually drop the numbers on child abuse cases.

“We want to hear from everyone in our community, especially the youth. We want some kids to sit on our council to tell us their perspective of what’s going on in school, to tell us what we can help with,” Melvin said.

The council meets virtually on the first Wednesday of every month at 4 PM. The group is hoping that this month of April will go a long way towards becoming a solution for abused children.

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