NEWS: Alaska House Unanimously Adopts a Measure Proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

House Concurrent Resolution 7 Also Proclaims April 10, 2015 as Go Blue Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2015

JUNEAU— Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed House Concurrent Resolution 7 proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Child abuse is at epidemic levels in Alaska, which currently ranks among the top 5 states for the rate of child abuse.  HCR 7 is sponsored by Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage).

“By naming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month we shed a little more light on this problem,” said Rep. Tarr.  “I want to thank my colleagues for their support of this small measure to help vulnerable children who are stuck in abusive family structures.”

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services confirms that in FY 2014 there were over 40 thousand allegations of harm to children in Alaska and the latest statistics show 40 child abuse victims for every one thousand children in Alaska.  Children who experience child abuse are nine times more likely to take part in criminal activity than children who do not experience abuse or neglect.  Additionally, exposure to trauma during childhood is likely the cause of some of our most costly social problems in adulthood, including substance abuse, suicide, and overall poor health outcomes.

Along with naming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, HCR 7 proclaims April 10 as Go Blue Friday, a statewide event being led by the Alaska Children’s Trust.

“The symbolic color of prevention is blue and I am hoping that everyone who recognizes child abuse as a problem in Alaska will wear blue this Friday,” said Rep. Tarr.  “We must all do our part, however small, to protect the most vulnerable among us and ensure that children grow up in a safe environment and are not subject to abuse and neglect.”

HCR 7 is part of the National Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign intended to provide education and resources to prevent children from being abused.

HCR 7 is cosponsored by Reps. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage), Harriett Drummond (D-Anchorage), Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage), Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage), Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage), and Craig Johnson (R-Anchorage). 

HCR 7 will now be sent to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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