NEWS: Alaskans Encouraged to Wear Blue Today to Raise Awareness of Child Abuse

Rep. Geran Tarr

“Go Blue Friday” Campaign Includes a Rally Today on the Steps of the State Capitol in Juneau

April 1, 2016

Juneau – Today, members of the Alaska Legislature will join the effort to raise awareness of child abuse by participating in Go Blue Friday.  Representatives Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) and Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) are asking lawmakers and staff to show support for efforts to stop child abuse in Alaska by wearing the color blue today.

“The color of prevention is blue, and I am hoping my colleagues show their support for our ongoing efforts to prevent child abuse by breaking out that blue suit, tie, shirt, or skirt today,” said Rep. Tarr.  “It’s been said that one way to judge a society is by how children are treated.  In Alaska we cherish our children, yet we have some of the highest rates of child abuse. Our efforts to raise awareness, while also passing laws like Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law, ensures families and communities are coming together to take action. We must all do more.”

April has been declared Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month every year since 1983.  Governor Bill Walker signed a proclamation Wednesday noting that child abuse and the effect of observing violence in the home creates adverse childhood experiences that can leave psychological, emotional, and physical effects with lifelong consequences for victims and survivors of abuse.

“Child abuse and neglect are preventable but only if the issue is brought out of the darkness and into the light.  The cycle of abuse can be broken,” said Rep. Spohnholz.  “Adverse Childhood Experiences or ‘ACES,’ such as abuse, may cause long term damage to a child’s brain and body. However, if we help families heal and learn healthy ways to solve problems, we can raise happy kids and preserve families. That’s what Child Abuse and Awareness Month is all about.”

Nationally, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds and every year there are over 3.6 million referrals made to child protection agencies involving more than 6 million children.  It’s estimated that approximately 8,000 children in Alaska are physically or sexually abused every year.  However, the vast majority of abuse cases are never reported.

As part of Go Blue Friday, a rally will be held today from noon-1 p.m. on the Capitol Step in Juneau.  A Go Blue Day Art Walk will be held today from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.  There will also be Go Blue Friday events in Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Fairbanks, Homer, and Nome.  

For more information about Go Blue Friday, please contact Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.



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