Local club puts up banner to raise awareness of child abuse

Published 7:52 pm Thursday, April 4, 2019

For the month of April, one Bridge Avenue house has a message for passersby.

The Albert Lea Exchange Club put up its Child Abuse Prevention Month sign at 805 Bridge Ave. with the permission of the home’s owner, president and vice president Sara Barnes and Gloria Olson said. The purpose of the sign is to raise awareness that child abuse is an issue in the community and society, Olson said.

“It’s important for us as Exchange Club members and community members and me as a parent,” Barnes said.

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The Exchange Club’s national project is child abuse prevention. Their hub in Owatonna, the Exchange Club Center for Family Unity, provides parent mentoring and visitation oversight, Barnes said. The center’s executive director, Annette Duncan, will speak at the Albert Lea Exchange Club’s April 16 meeting. The club meets at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Albert Lea American Legion.

Olson encouraged community members to contact the Freeborn County Department of Human Services to report child abuse.

“Don’t be afraid to report it, because you might be saving someone’s life,” Olson said.

While April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, Olson said she wants people to be aware that child abuse happens all year long. It includes physical and emotional abuse as well as neglect.

“Communities need to get more involved in protecting children,” she said.

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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