Mesa County Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month

On Monday, Mesa County joined communities throughout the country in the blue ribbon campaign, with the goal of raising awareness and preventing child abuse.

There were 365 cases of abuse reported in the county in 2006, an increase of about 10 compared to 2005.

But the alarming fact from the previous year is the number of deaths as a result of abuse.

"There were no child abuse deaths in 2005 but there were four in 2006 and that's unacceptable," Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland said.

Four cardboard cutouts painted in black represented the number of children lost in 2006 due to child abuse. Monday's ceremony recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, but the hope is for concern to last for more than 30 days.

Dozens were at the old county courthouse for the ceremony, good news in the eyes of many, who hope the community can become more involved.

"We want people pay attention to the kids in the neighborhood and if they see signs of abuse don't be afraid to report it to social services and make a complaint," Rowland said.

Along with getting involved and keeping an eye on children around you, you can also show your intolerance for abuse with a blue ribbon tied to your car antenna.