Story and photo by Robyn Mack
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart community members planted pinwheels April 1 to mark the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Launched in 2008, the Prevent Child Abuse America’s “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign raises awareness to services that promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
“Child abuse prevention is not a one-month assignment. It goes on every day of every year,” noted the proclamation signed by USAG Stuttgart Commander, Col. Glenn. K. Dickenson, during the event. “Without every one of us doing our part we cannot say our Army is fully ready to build a strong and resilient community.”
Rita Goldstein, Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program manager, said the Department of Defense is not immune to child abuse cases, and is currently experiencing an upward trend.
“By creating awareness during this month we can then educate people so they know what to do if they recognize signs of abuse or neglect and where the resources are to reach out for help,” said Goldstein. “Ultimately, the child would be protected.”
Common signs of child abuse and neglect may be injuries, including suspicious patterns; poor dental hygiene; and, inappropriate sexual behavior, said Goldstein. “Parents also need to follow the local supervision policy. It’s in place for a reason.”
Goldstein also said it is important to err on the side of caution when considering reporting. “It is better to be wrong, then not report and be right and lose a child,” she said. “People often worry about a parent being mad if they report. They won’t be. It shows a community with vigilant caring adults. We do it for the kids.”
Community members and those people identified as mandatory reporters, including teachers and coaches, should make all reports to the Military Police at DSN: 430-5262/civ. 0711-680-5262.
For the current U.S. Army Europe Child Supervision Policy, visit: http://www.stuttgart.army.mil/pdf/policies/ChildSupervision.pdf.
Check out the F&MWR Insider in this issue for more activities scheduled to recognized CAPM.
View the photo album from Panzer Kaserne: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usagstuttgart/albums/72157666640747851