Your View: Take a simple pause to prevent child abuse


To the editor:

As a parent of two young children, I know what the fast pace of our community can mean when it comes to family life. Throughout Alexandria, families of all kinds are struggling to balance work and economic stress and parenting with the countless other challenges of daily life. It can be easy to feel too busy or overwhelmed to take a pause. But no matter how fast the world might be moving around us, it is critical that we take time every day to focus on children. 
That might mean spending quality time with children in your own family, supporting a stressed out parent in your neighborhood, or volunteering with a local community group serving kids. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and here in Alexandria that means SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia is working especially hard to get messages of prevention and support to families across our region. 
SCANs Pause for a Child campaign is a fantastic reminder to all Alexandrians that it only takes a moment to make a difference. For a parent dealing with a childs tantrum, a pause can be critical in helping them respond with patience rather than anger. For a community member who might witness a sign of child abuse, a pause could provide the decision-making moment to report a concern, and help a child at risk. 
This April, Im asking you to take a pause for the children in your own life, and be a part of SCANs exciting campaign. Look around at the children in your Alexandria neighborhood or school or business, and consider how you might pause for them. Then look for the blue pinwheels, too; SCAN is launching this new symbol for the support of child abuse prevention here in Northern Virginia as part of a nationwide campaign. You can plant a pinwheel in your own yard, download a worksheet to create a pinwheel with a child you know or post an official Pinwheel Partner badge on your website, blog or Facebook page to show your support. 
Just a few moments a simple pause have never seemed more powerful! Get details and learn more on SCANs campaign site,