Western New York to Join the Million March Against Child Abuse | Community Spirit
For the first time in American history on April 22, 2013, people in 200 cities and 45 states will join and will walk together in solidarity to raise awareness of child abuse and crimes against children at the inaugural Million March Against Child Abuse. Buffalo will be one of the participating cities. Child advocate groups, churches, parents, teachers and many other concerned citizens from across Western New York (WNY) will take part in this national event and will converge on Lafayette Square in Downtown Buffalo and March to Niagara Square loudly voicing their collective outrage against child abuse along their route.
The Buffalo Million March Against Child Abuse will take place on Monday, April 22, from 11:30 am to 12 pm (report to Lafayette Square by 11:15 am) and it is open to any person who wants their voice heard and help raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse locally and across the country. Kathy DiLallo, program coordinator, New Directions Youth and Family Services and Christine Retzer, aunt of a local boy by the name of JJ that was severely abused by his father as an infant and has become the inspiration behind Justice for JJ and Jay J Law, are co-leading and organizing the Buffalo Million March Against Child Abuse in conjunction with national organizers. The local march is anticipating more than 300 participants from across Western New York, with hopes that more community members will join. New Directions Youth and Family Services, Western New York’s leading provider of services for at-risk children and families, will be sending a large contingency of staff members to the march and encourages the community to join the agency in this important cause.
Million March Against Child Abuse is a non-partisan, grassroots, nationwide effort to raise awareness of child abuse, to educate the masses, and ask lawmakers for tougher sentencing in violent crimes against our nation's children. The March has been strategically planned for April because it is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Nearly three million child abuse cases are reported annually. About 2,500 children die annually in this country. One out of 6 boys and 1 out of 4 girls is sexually molested by a close, trusted person. According to a Congressional hearing in June 2011, experts believe nearly 10 children die from abuse each day in this country. Thousands are being sexually exploited and millions are in poverty and living on our streets across this nation. Sentencing in crimes against children typically carries 25% of the sentencing if the same crime was committed against an adult. Every 30 minutes, a child thinks about suicide. Child abuse and neglect in America and throughout the nation is growing at a very high rate. There are on average over than 800,000 cases of neglect a year in the United States and the most vulnerable age is 0-6. One in every four girls and one in every seven boys is a victim of physical abuse.
For more information on the Buffalo Million March Against Child Abuse please visit Facebook.com/MillionMarchAgainstChildAbuseBuffaloNY.
About New Directions Youth and Family Services
New Directions Youth and Family Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency with a heritage going back more than 130 years. Its mission is to foster resilient, self-reliant families and permanence for at-risk children in the shortest time possible, by promoting safe, respectful, responsible, and goal-directed behavior. The agency’s mission is promoted through dedicated, caring staff and by employing its treatment philosophy of Normative Culture. For more information about New Directions Youth and Family Services please visit fosteringgood.org.