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Letter to the Editor April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

To the Editor:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Parents United of North Central Iowa, Inc. is committed to stopping child sexual abuse through our awareness and treatment programs. We believe all children need to be loved, respected and cared for. Unfortunately, child sexual abuse does exist in Iowa, and in your community.

  • From 2002 through 2006 there was an average of 1,022 confirmed cases of sexual abuse per year involving children in Iowa. (2006 Iowa Uniform Crime Report)
  • As of Feb. 2007 there are a total of 6,235 individuals registered with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. The typical sexual predator will assault 117 times before being caught. It is estimated that 88% of these offenders abused children 17 years of age or younger. (Iowa Department of Public Safety & Sex Offender Registry)
  • One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 2002)
  • How can we as a community protect our children?

To Report - become aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse and do something about it. If you suspect that a child is being abused, please call your local Department of Human Services, local law enforcement, or 1-800-362-2178.

To Prevent - The North Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Council provides sexual abuse awareness/prevention presentations to school age children, parents, professionals and civic groups for those living in Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Mitchell, Worth and Winnebago counties. For further information or to schedule presentations contact Deb Freeman at (641)832-3502.

To Treat- sexual abuse emotionally hurts children and their families and it is important for them to get treatment. Sexual abuse does not stop because it has been reported, without therapy it will continue. Parents United, established in 1983, is a therapy treatment program for children and families affected by sexual abuse.

For more information - visit the Parents United Web site at www.Parentsunitednci.com, phone (641)424-5232 or email parentsunited@parentsunitednci.com. Our children are the only future we have; they will be the leaders in our communities and in our nations in years to come. It takes every citizen in every community to help protect our most valuable resource.

Duffy Weitzel
Executive Director