By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
State Sen. Eric Adams, the frontrunner in the race for borough president, is joining forces with a non-profit group to raise awareness of child abuse prevention measures. Adams, a retired New York City police captain, is working with representatives of the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP) on a campaign called “One Simple Step Can Change a Child’s Life.”
The campaign urges residents who suspect child abuse to call the New York State Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720. Reporting abuse is a simple yet vital first step in getting a child help and keeping them safe, Adams (D-Prospect Heights) said.
“We must learn valuable lessons from child abuse cases, most recently the Penn State child abuse scandal. The most important tool against child abuse is to report the predator so they cannot continue to abuse other children,” Adams said. “Adults, especially parents, also have the responsibility to report abuse information they have received or suspect, in addition to continuous conversations with their children about child abuse. It is crucial that New Yorkers take action to protect our children from harm – whether by loved ones, trusted authority figures, or strangers. Child abuse cannot be tolerated,” he said.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in the US.
The campaign will be introduced and promoted through various outlets including Adams’s website, as well as the CAPP’s website and its social media channels. Each day, the campaign will spotlight resources and educational information via short video segments featuring statistics and facts researched and compiled by CAPP. The videos will feature child abuse experts, the CAPP puppets, board members and school partners.
The CAPP uses puppets when experts visit schools to talk to children about child abuse.
“Education is the key to this two-step process. CAPP is committed to continuing its mission to provide abuse prevention education to New York City school children and to urge parents to continue talking to children about personal safety,” CAPP executive director Marion White said. “But the education goes beyond children. Our goal is to educate adults on how to take action if abuse information is revealed to them or if they suspect it. This step is critical and can help save a child’s life,” she said.
Since its inception in 1986 in Brooklyn, CAPP has educated more than 440,000 New York City school children on their right to be safe from abuse, according to program officials.
Child Abuse Prevention Month activities in Brooklyn will culminate at the Fourth Annual CAPP Safe Kids 5K in Prospect Park on April 27. All proceeds will go toward supporting CAPP’s work and enable the organization to continue providing kids with the tools they need to recognize, resist and report physical and sexual abuse, officials said.