The Million March against Child Abuse took place at 300 cities in 45 states Monday, including Logan. Volunteers manned Logan streets and had tables with information on child abuse and neglect outside the Logan County Courthouse from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
The walk was organized by Lin Seahorn, who is founder of Children Without a Voice USA (CWAV), a non-profit organization dedicated and determined to fight child abuse and neglect in America.
Wanda Walls has taken a leadership role in working for the cause locally. Walls is the grandmother of two-year-old Aydin Toler, who died in the hospital from a severe head injury after police said his mother’s boyfriend, Nicholas Turkale, slammed him into a door frame.
According to a congressional hearing in July of 2011, experts estimated 10 children in America die from abuse every day.
“The Million March is hoping to raise awareness as to the seriousness of the child abuse problem in America,” said Walls.”
The organization had two petitions they are collecting signatures for during the March, one is to create legislation to have judges compile an annual report of child abuse cases and how they ruled on them for entry into a national database. The second petition demands a federal mandate that all states be required to report child abuse or fatalities due to child abuse to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS).
There are currently no federal or state laws that require states to report cases of child abuse and neglect or deaths and as a result, millions of cases go unreported. In addition, many perpetrators receive light sentences as a result of evidence not being turned over and unreported abuse.
Walls says this may have been the first-ever march of its kind, but it certainly won’t be the last until there is change at every level to protect children.
To learn more about child abuse and neglect, visit childwelfare.gov, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, or childrenwithoutavoiceusa.org.