Child abuse survivor notes approval for ‘call 911’ signs
About 1,000 yard signs and more than 1,000 bumper stickers say: “Be aware. Child abuse can be anywhere!!! Call 911.”
WICHITA, Kan. — For Beverly “B. Kay” Van Es, the Thanksgiving spirit came walking down a sidewalk on Tuesday afternoon. The spirit arrived in the form of a middle-school boy who stopped outside her Wichita home and began talking with her husband, Jack, about the sign posted in their front yard. That sign is about me, he told the couple. The experience resonated with Van Es because of the March death of a North Newton toddler, Vincent Hill. Vincent’s death — what authorities have called a severe case of child abuse — jolted Van Es and another Wichita grandmother, Lily “Madrene” Hill, into action.
By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
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