Child victims of abuse, neglect recognized at vigil | NevadaAppeal.com
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Child victims of abuse, neglect recognized at vigil

F.T. Norton
Natasha Powell, 7, curls up in mother Reesha Powell's arms during the Light Of Hope candlelight vigil for child victims of abuse and neglect held Tuesday at the Capitol Mall. The event was sponsored by Court Appointed Special Advocates. Rick Gunn Nevada Appeal
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A candlelight vigil for victims of child abuse and neglect Tuesday brought together child care professionals at the Legislative Mall amphitheater.

Though the crowd of about 50 people was made up mostly of those who work with child victims, organizer Chris Bayer said the vigil gave the professionals some much-needed support.

“It’s traumatic for all of us,” dealing with issues of child abuse, said Bayer, director of Court Appointed Special Advocates. “We suffer a secondary trauma from being around this heartache.

“This helps us to restore our vision,” Bayer said.

The advocates is a nationwide program that trains volunteers to speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in juvenile court.

Mayor Ray Masayko proclaimed April Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness and Prevention Month, noting 80 to 90 children a year are abused or neglected in Carson City.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nationally an estimated 542,000 children were in foster care in 2001.

During 2002, 60.5 percent of victims experienced neglect, including medical neglect; 18.6 percent were physically abused; 9.9 percent were sexually abused; and 6.5 percent were emotionally or psychologically mistreated. In addition, 8.9 percent of victims experienced such “other” types of mistreatment as “abandonment,” “threats of harm to the child,” and “congenital drug addiction.”

In addition to three guest speakers, Jeanie Ambrose received a humanitarian award from the advocates for her service to children in foster care.

Speaker Tammy Taylor urged community members to get involved and report suspected child abuse.

“This is not a cause for the weak of spirit or faint of heart,” she said. “It’s so crucial that we take this seriously.”

April is also Child Abuse Awareness Month and April 18 to April 22 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. A candlelight vigil April 18 in Rancho San Rafael Park, 1502 Washington Street, Reno, is being held in honor of victims of crime in the community.

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.