LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — Nearly one billion children under the age of 17 experienced physical, emotional, or mental abuse globally over the last year. That is according to the World Health Organization.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least one in seven kids experienced child abuse or neglect in the last year. The CDC said one in four kids experience child abuse or neglect in their lifetime.
For years, people living in Lewisburg gather at the courthouse in April to honor Children’s Memorial Flag Day. On Monday, Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White, along with several organizations in Greenbrier County, signed a proclamation regarding that day.
“Anytime we talk about children being abused, it just goes to your core of children being hurt,” White said. “They don’t ask to be born. They don’t ask to be here. It’s our responsibility as the parents to make sure our children are taken care of.”
Mayor White signed the proclamation marking the community’s concern for their youth, and dedication to raising awareness. She was backed by members of several local organizations including Children’s Home Society, Communities in School of Greenbrier County, Davis Stuart, and more.
“This lets people know that we’re thinking of our children, we’re remembering all those we have lost, and hopefully send a message to parents that wait a minute, what am I doing? Is this me,” White said. “They might not even be aware that what they’re doing is wrong because that’s what they grew up with.”
Mayor White said it is important to break the cycle of abuse and it is key to start while the kids are young. She added there is a difference between discipline and abuse.
“I don’t know how we help the parents get through the process of ‘I’m not feeling okay today.’ Maybe I need to take a step back and just take a deep breath before they harm their child,” White said. “There’s a difference between discipline and abuse.”
Children’s Memorial Flag Day will be honored at the Courthouse on April 30, 2021 at Noon.