HEIDELBERG, Germany -- U.S. Army garrisons across Europe have a variety of activities scheduled in April as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This year's slogan, "Safe or Sorry' It's Time to Stop the Abuse," emphasizes the campaign's overarching theme that "Child Abuse Prevention Requires Safe Communities and Responsive Families."

"Although awareness among Army professionals of what actions constitute child abuse is wide-spread, the accurate identification of abused or neglected children by individuals outside of the Family Advocacy Program and other professional circles can oftentimes be inadequate," said Brandi Stauber, Installation Management Command Europe, Family Advocacy Program manager. "Civilian community members and agencies, and even affected families may have difficulty in determining if a child is abused or neglected, for a variety of reasons."

"Child abuse prevention and intervention efforts ranging from briefings on Family Advocacy Program services, respite care for stressed parents to home visits by nurses and social workers continue to be in place for new Soldiers, some of whom are married with children, as well as for current Army Families to help them deal with the continued stressors of transitions, deployments, and the innate challenges of military life," said Stauber. "Our prevention education programs, as well as the Army's mandated interventions when abuse or neglect has already occurred, work to make service members and families more aware, educated and motivated."

Despite these extensive and ongoing prevention efforts, child abuse and neglect continue to occur, thus undermining family readiness and Army core values.

"For example, some Soldiers and their family members may fail to understand the harm they do to their children due to unrealistic age-appropriate expectations" said Stauber. "In some circumstances, Soldiers and families may be reluctant to reach out for help due to the fear of negative consequences."

Stauber said she encourages Soldiers and their families to participate in their garrison's Child Abuse Prevention Month activities. Participation not only helps raise community awareness but additionally encourages families to use support services that are designed to build strong, healthy families.

The Family Advocacy Program is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to Soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month activities in your community, call your local Army Community Services.

Scheduled Events

Benelux
April 27: Information tables in the Chievres PX area on Saturday.
April 14, 21: NPSP Daddy Boot Camp.
April 8, 15, 22: Active Parenting for Families with children 5-12.
April 20: Child Wellness Fair.

Garmisch
April 14: Community Baby Shower.
April 25: M.O.M's walk against child abuse.
April 29: "Megahug"; Partnering with DoDDS to have a large chain hug with aerial photo taken. "Hands are for hugging, not hitting."

Grafenwoehr
April 20: CYSS Block Party, Grafenwoehr Parade Deck, Vilseck Big Mike, Netzaberg.
April 30: Kinderfest, Mini Scavenger Hunt.
April: Cloths line display of Garrison numbers at the Grafenwoehr Food Court.

Heidelberg
April 8: Family Movie Day, PHV Theater.
April 13: Playgroup Information Fair.
April 15: Community Magic Show, PHV Village Pavilion.

Hohenfels
April 4-15: Safe Child offered at the Child Development Center Daily.
April: Safe Child offered to the general community.

Schweinfurt
April 30: Kinderfest with blue ribbon tattoos, and face painting.

Stuttgart
April 8: Teen Lock In/7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
April 18: Child Abuse Prevention- New Parent Support Programs Lecture.
April 23: German/American Peace Project Awareness Booth at the MWR Spring Fling.

Vicenza
April 4: Child Abuse Prevention Opening Ceremony.
April 27: Ice Cream Flavor Contest.

Wiesbaden
April 14: Small WAAF CDC Booth/Activity for parents and children.
April 20: Hainerberg CDC Booth/Activity for parents and children.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16