Honoring Victims of Child Abuse


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A ceremony held in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on Friday, April 26, honored14 children who died in 2012 in Wood County from child abuse. Spokesperson Laurea Ellis said each county in West Virginia has a flag raising and a balloon release for the children who died from abuse and neglect during the past year. The flag was designed by a child and depicts a row of children in blue, with an empty place in the row to symbolize the children who have died by acts of violence, preventable accidents, and child abuse and neglect.

Physically abusing a child is society’s first concern because the children are not big enough to fight back, but leaders in the field of domestic violence say that children are hurt emotionally by seeing adults being abused. Spousal abuse can damage children and cause them to become abusers when they grow up.

“Sometimes there might not be physical abuse of the children, but they are still exposed to that violence. They hear and see the abuse between the adults in the home, so they are witnessing it and that does have an effect on them,” said Emily Larkins, executive director of the Family Crisis and Intervention Center of Region V. Ms. Larkins also stated that the children may be injured when they try to intervene to protect the adult victim. 29 individuals died in West Virginia as the result of domestic violence in 2012.

Providing help for grown men and women who are beaten or otherwise abused by their spouse is the first priority of the Family Crisis and Intervention Center. The 24-hour hotline for the Parkersburg Center is 800-794-2335.

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