Protecting children against violence

Protecting children against violence Gov. Mike Rounds is reminding all South Dakotans that April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. The Child Welfare League of America launched this public awareness campaign to direct attention to violent child deaths as part of a sustained national initiative to reduce child mortality.

"Please join us in remembering children who were victims of child abuse in their homes," said Gov. Rounds. "South Dakota is participating with states in this annual event in hopes of calling attention to the children both nationally and within our state who are the victims of violence. It is only through our efforts that we can prevent future occurrences of violence against children."

The centerpiece of this initiative, the Children's Memorial Flag, will fly outside the state Capitol building on Friday, April 30. The red flag depicts children's blue figures holding hands. The white chalk outline of a missing child symbolizes the children lost to violence. The flag is flown in remembrance of thousands of children who are killed by violence each year. During fiscal year 2003 in South Dakota, five children, four years old and younger, died because of child abuse and or neglect.

For more information, call Virgena Wieseler, South Dakota Child Protection Services, at (605) 773-3227 or visit http://www.state.sd.us/social/CPS/.

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