Guild Donation to Prevent Child Abuse

July 7, 2009 9:14:06 PM PDT
Children's Hospital Central California received a $4-million pledge Tuesday to help combat child abuse. The goal is to reduce this staggering statistic. 2,240 children in Fresno County were abused between October 2007 and September 2008.Child abuse is a crisis in the Valley with thousands of innocent victims each year.

"We need to decline those numbers and not allow them to increase," said Tracy Lifer with the Central Valley guilds.

Lifer hopes to reduce abuse statistics by pledging $4-million of the guild's fundraising dollars to the Children's Hospital of the Central Valley over the next 6 years.

Lifer: "It is going to be enough to get the job started. It's going to continue to take the work of the guild to the hospital to the community to continue that job in the long term."

The hospital's child abuse prevention clinic has faced its share of cutbacks to service with the downturn in the economy.

"It's going to continue supporting services that have either gone away because of the economy due to state budgets and funding of independent based community organizations," said Leanne Kozub with child advocacy.

Kozub said this donation will position the children's hospital as the 'go-to' center for child abuse and could prevent children like 10-year old Seth Ireland from dying.

Investigators said Ireland was beaten to death by his mother's boyfriend in late December. Child protective services had been investigating Ireland's family in the months leading up to his death.

"It's the one chance you've got to intervene and make sure this doesn't happen again," said Dr. John Kinnison.

Kinnison examines every child that comes through the clinic with broken bones and injuries. Kinnison said there is not a direct correlation between the bad economy and increase in child abuse.

"Child abuse has always been around and it's always going to be around until we start preventing," said the doctor.

With the money pledged hospital officials said they are on the right track to preventing child abuse in the Central Valley.

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