All can help protect children against the threat of abuse

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Our awareness of child sexual abuse is heightened in so many ways. We read about it in this newspaper. We hear reports through other media sources. There is a Child Abuse Awareness Month (April) and a World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse (Nov. 19).

Children need to be protected through this much-needed attention. However, I often wonder: Once the stories are reported, after the newspapers go into recycling bins, are we still paying attention? Do we ask ourselves what we can do, personally, to help?

I am so grateful for the diligence of the many local individuals who work to protect our children. However, I am also compelled to reach out to my fellow community members with this reminder: Please be mindful that on any given day a child in Portage County could be suffering from this abuse at the hands of a trusted adult or teen. It happens to children in your neighborhood, in your church, and to children whom you might even know. Child sexual abuse is severely undereported.

Please, let's remember that each and every one of us can give children a voice. We can be watchful. We can get past our fear that we may be reporting something that our hearts believe is true but that we're not sure about. We can educate ourselves.

The Children's Advocacy Center is providing a training called "Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children" on Dec. 4 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Family & Community Services in Ravenna. This training can help adults to better understand child sexual abuse and know how we can help.

Please report child abuse and neglect to the Portage County Department of Jobs and Family Services: Call 330-296-2273.

For information about the training contact The Children's Advocacy Center at 330-297-8838 or email lwagener@rmh2.org.

Lucy Wagener,

Executive Director,

The Children's Advocacy Center of Portage County

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  • How come I never read anything in the Record Courier about the Childrens Advocacy Center having any rage over the deals and sentences given to Baby Rapers by the prosecutors & judges at the Portage County Discount House of Justice? I think you folks are a waste of grant money. If there is suspected abuse call the police, period. If Lucy Wagener and her group were serious about child advocacy, they would be demonstrating in front of the "Portage County Discount House of Justice" protesting the deals and sentences the prosecutors and judges give Baby Rapers and Child Molesters. Executive Director Lucy Wagener should be leading the charge on behalf of the raped and molested in Portage County and have TV cameras and news reporters interviewing Judges and Prosecutors, asking them to explain themselves. Thats Advocacy. Shine the light on the rats.