Sunday, November 04, 2007

Chid abuse is not a secret

Keepers of a child abuse website are asking those who care to wear a blue ribbon every day this month to promote child abuse prevention awareness.
But National Child Abuse Prevention Month won’t only be about handing out blue ribbons. Several local agencies are increasing their visibility in the community.
Laura Newbery, founder of Children Hope and Horses, helps child abuse victims by showing children how to ride and care for horses. The program has been in existence for two years but Newbery has been a life long equestrian.
“I started when I was three or four, I know what horses have done for me over the years. They are great at building self-confidence and self esteem.
She became interested in helping children who are adopted or who have abuse in their history because of the way she was raised.
“I had very good life growing up. There is just something about child and animal abuse I don’t agree with.”
Newbery, 38, says she grew up watching her close friends go through tough times.
“I know growing up watching childhood friends and how their parents handled them – very rough. Hitting, slapping, (using) belts. You could see the fear in those children. Back then it was just one of those things – how children were raised. It was acceptable back then, times have changed for the better,” she said.
“The one girl who whose father was heavy handed – I had two ponies – she loved to spend time with the ponies. It was her quiet time,” she said.
Child abuse victims who are later adopted into an appropriate environment still need support and counseling. Sometimes the worst scars are the ones that are hardest to notice, Patrice Kelty of Child and Family Connections said.
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