FORT SMITH (KFSM) — In an attempt to raise awareness of the child abuse, 803 flags were on display Monday (April 11) at the Campus Green at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Those flags represent each victim of child abuse in the city in 2015.
“We`re just trying to show how easy it is for a child to get abused, so if anyone just sees a minor thing, they have to at least try to tell someone they know,” Maraam Zonfully, president UAFS Collegiate Exchange Club said.
Zonfully said child abuse prevention is a cause that sits close to her heart.
“We`re just hosting an event where people can come and join us and listen to Hamilton House and BACA [Bikers Against Child Abuse],” she said. “Those are centers that help children that have been abused.”
On a national level, more than four children die from abuse and neglect every day. Mayor Sandy Sanders said these statistics are unacceptable. He presented Zonfully a certificate, which declares April 11 as Child Abuse Prevention Day at UAFS.
“It`s very important for all of our community realize that we are not going to permit child abuse,” Mayor Sanders said. “We`re going to do whatever we can to prevent child abuse from happening to any child in Fort Smith.”
Zonfully said even some of her friends are victims of abuse.
“I just want to help people know what`s going on, so that way nothing happens to another child,” she said.
President Ronald Reagan declared April Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983.
The city of Clarksville are also bringing the issue to light. Mayor Mark Simpson and Johnson County Judge Herman House signed a proclamation Monday as well.