Editorial - you can help end child abuseThere are thousands of them out there, abused and neglected children, who need your help. In Minnesota, about 5,000 children are abused and neglected annually, according to Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota. In 2009 (the most recent year for statistics), 44 children suffered life-threatening injuries and 21 children died from maltreatment. The median age of the victims is 6.
There are thousands of them out there, abused and neglected children, who need your help.
In Minnesota, about 5,000 children are abused and neglected annually, according to Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota. In 2009 (the most recent year for statistics), 44 children suffered life-threatening injuries and 21 children died from maltreatment.
The median age of the victims is 6.
They came from all races – white (51 percent), black (23 percent), two or more races (13 percent), American Indian (10 percent) and Asian and Pacific Islander (1 percent).
The abusers are most often the children’s birth parents (76 percent of the time). But other relatives are also known to be abusers, including stepparents, adoptive parents, grandparents and siblings. They comprise 12 percent of the offenders. Other abusers included parents’ companions (7 percent), and child care providers, foster parents and facility staff (2 percent).
The most frequent type of abuse is neglect (70 percent). But some children are maltreated or physically abused (20 percent). Sixteen percent of the victims suffered sexual abuse. Two percent suffered medical neglect or emotional or mental abuse. (The numbers exceed 100 percent because some children were victims of more than one form of abuse.)
Now that you know the numbers and what we’re up against, it’s time to take action. In Douglas County, you can do just that by supporting the Radiothon to End Child Abuse on December 6-7.
Hosted by KIKV-FM 100.7 and COOL 94.3, the 23rd annual radiothon is co-sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota. Proceeds will also be shared by child abuse prevention groups in Douglas, Pope, Stevents, Todd and Grant counties. During the 23-hour broadcast, listeners can phone in pledges to help stop child abuse.
The event is more than a fundraiser. It also boosts awareness and education about the problem. Human service professionals and community leaders will discuss child abuse prevention and what local resources are available to parents and children. Listeners will also hear what’s been accomplished in the past to end child abuse and what can be done in the future to prevent it.
Listeners will have a chance to bid on many auction items, generously donated by local groups and businesses. For more information on the items, call (320) 762-2154 during the radiothon or call the special All State Sprint Line, 1-877-836-KIDS, where volunteers will be answering phones set up at Pete’s County Market.
This year, two events are being held to raise additional funds for the radiothon. On Tuesday, December 4, a free community dinner will be served at Broadway Ballroom from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., sponsored by Ellingson Plumbing and Heating and Fat Daddy’s Bar and Grill. It will include a silent auction and donations are welcome. Also, on Wednesday, December 19, Shaun Johnson and the Big Band Experience will perform at the Alexandria Area Arts Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. It’s being presented by Elden’s Fresh Foods, along with KIKV and COOL.
The radio stations and local businesses are doing their part to address a problem that hurts the most vulnerable among us, children. Now it’s the community’s turn to add their support. Last year, the event raised more than $38,000. Think of all the children that money helped and let’s see if we can top that amount this year.