In 1983, during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, April was set aside as National Child Abuse Awareness month as a way of raising awareness for the issues of child abuse in America. The Blue Ribbon that’s associated with child abuse (much as pink ribbons are associated with breast cancer) was first established in 1989, yet too few are aware of it even today.
In the spring of 1989, Bonnie Finney of Norfolk, Virginia tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her van as a sign to her community of her personal battle against child abuse. Bonnie’s three-year-old grandson, Michael “Bubba” Dickenson, had died of injuries inflicted by her daughter’s violent boyfriend.
In Bonnie’s words: “The blue ribbon serves as a constant reminder…to fight for protection for our children. We must protect our most precious gift…our children. Please wear a blue ribbon…put one on your car…give one to your friends…tell them what it means…you may change a child’s life.”
Family and Children’s Services have blue ribbons tied on our trees during the month of April to remind the community about the children that need our support. Child abuse and neglect can have lifelong implications for victims that can haunt them throughout their adult life. While physical wounds heal, there are long-term consequences of experiencing the trauma of abuse or neglect. With h, lp these children can work through and overcome their past experiences.
Family & Children’s Services is the place to turn for help if a child has been hurt by any type of abuse or trauma. We offer hope and recovery for children and their families.
Visit www.fcsok.org to learn more.