On Thursday, June 29, children from Branch County who have suffered from abuse and or neglect will be honored. It will happen on the hill at the Naomi Davis Shelter House in Coldwater, as 202 American Flags and Child Abuse Flags will stand 8 feet tall in perfect formation.
The Healing Hill of Hope Healing Field event is a project of the Coldwater Early Bird Exchange Club and the flags will remain in place through the end of July.
Branch County Coalition against Domestic Violence Executive Director Kim Hemker says there were 157 substantiated cases of child abuse in the county last year and that’s a decrease from 178 the year before in 2015. However, according to Hemker, percentage wise, it didn’t actually go down and they don’t know if that means less reported or substantiated cases, so they just can’t explain the statistics.
Hemker says bottom line, they do know that children are being hurt and with projects like the Healing Hill, awareness will be heightened in the community, which can then begin to learn the signs of child abuse. Read more.