In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse had its early beginnings as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country, and many wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse. In other communities, special fundraisers are held to support prevention activities and treatment facilities for victims, and candlelight vigils are held as a remembrance. Most recently, the focus has shifted toward a more positive message of celebrating “blue ribbon” individuals, organizations, and communities who have done much to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Staff at the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center will be wearing blue ribbons throughout April to acknowledge National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Over 700 children have walked through the doors of the TBCAC since opening in 2010, and many have reported incidences of sexual and physical abuse, neglect, and witness to violence. Wearing blue ribbons honors the courage of these children to speak out against abuse and encourages us all to do the same. Why not make and wear your own blue ribbon this month? Doing so is a simple way to increase awareness in our community of the need to ensure the safety and well-being of children.