April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
McDonough County reported 280 cases of child abuse and 21 cases of child sexual abuse in 2010, the most recent year statistics are available.
Participants at the “Hands Around the McDonough County Courthouse” rally against child abuse promised each other they would fight child abuse.
Diane Mayfield is the Victim Services Director for the Western Illinois Regional Council Community Action Agency.
She told the crowd many people under stress lash out at their children. She said she often asks parents with children who are upset if she can help. She said no one has ever told her to mind her own business.
Mayfield said, “If you know a family that has children, no matter what the age, give them a coupon for an hour, so mom can get away and just by herself have some 'me' time.”
As a mother, Amy Crosby of Macomb felt it was important to attend.
She hoped the rally would “raise awareness about child abuse prevention and to get lots of different groups together to raise that awareness and network and talk about different ways that we can address this issue.“
Participants extended a blue ribbon around the courthouse to signify their unity of purpose.