Throughout Michigan, non-profits, charities and local organizations are working hard to combat child abuse. They host fundraisers, put on events, and create interactive displays in their communities, all aimed at raising awareness and increasing funding. And Branch County is no different.
Each flag represents one substantiated case of abuse or neglect
Once again, the Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence hosted the Early Bird Exchange Club’s annual Hill of Hope ceremony this month in Coldwater, Michigan. Constructed on the hillside in front of the Naomi Davis Shelter House, hundreds of American flags were planted, each one representing a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect in Branch County.
What do the flags stand for, and why plant them?
According to Kim Hemker, executive director of the Branch County Coalition and Domestic Violence, the flags are meant to raise awareness about child abuse in the community. Counting the flags reveals that there were 250 substantiated cases of abuse in the county last year, which is a significant increase from the previous years, where the tally came in at 157 and 178 respectively.
The numbers in Branch County are very high!
Branch County has one of the highest number of child abuse cases, per capita, in Michigan. In 2017, 105 children were removed from their homes and placed into foster care. Of those cases, 75 kids were removed from their families permanently. By creating the planted flags, one for each case in the county, the Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hoping to increase community awareness about child abuse and neglect.
Do high numbers mean more abuse, or better reporting?
Hemker says you can look at it either way. “Branch County is the second highest in reporting for the State of Michigan. We can look at that one of two ways, I think we should look at it in a positive light. It could mean everyone is doing their job in educating people on what to look for and who to contact.”
How do they raise money, and what is it used for?
In addition to the flag planting ceremony, and the flag display which stays in place for the month of July, there is also a 5k Run/Walk held on the 4th of July to benefit local child abuse programs. The $25 paid by each entrant into the race will be donated to help combat child abuse in the community.
Child abuse is a real problem, but CPS isn’t always honest
As CPS defense attorneys, we know that child abuse is a real and growing problem in Michigan. But we also know that it’s in their interest to remove children from their homes, and claim abuse where none exists. Which is why, if you or a loved one have been accused of abusing or neglecting a child, you need to get a highly skilled CPS defense attorney immediately!
Battling CPS is often a messy, confusing, lengthy process. Going up against the state can be extremely intimidating – it’s a formidable foe with many resources and an army of people available to fight you! Call The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245 to discuss the best way to protect your parental and constitutional rights.