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City, YSB battle child abuse

(BCR photo/Becky Kramer)
Youth Service Bureau (YSB) Foundation Board President Steve Bouslog (from left), Princeton Mayor Keith Cain, YSB of Illinois Valley Development Director Nan Butler and YSB Board member Tim Smith stand with a giant blue ribbon, symbolizing YSB's 2013 Blue Ribbon Campaign to bring awareness to child abuse prevention. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

PRINCETON — Princeton Mayor Keith Cain and the Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley have joined efforts to proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In reading the proclamation at Monday’s Princeton City Council meeting, Cain said the majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are preventable in an engaged and supportive community. Child abuse and neglect not only directly harm the child, but also increase the likelihood of criminal behavior for the child, as well as substance abuse, health problems and risky behavior such as smoking, the mayor said.

Cain encouraged citizens to support Youth Service Bureau (YSB) of Illinois Valley and to learn about its programs and resources provided for the Princeton community.

YSB of Illinois Valley Development Director Nan Butler and YSB Foundation Board President Steve Bouslog attended Monday’s council meeting and presented a blue ribbon pin to Cain for his support and advocacy for children. The blue ribbon represents the 2013 Blue Ribbon Campaign which has begun throughout the community.

As stated in a press release issued by the YSB, Child Abuse Prevention Month first began in 1983, but the blue ribbon symbolizing child abuse awareness did not start until 1989. At that time, a woman named Bonnie Finney tied a blue ribbon to her van antenna in remembrance of her grandson who had been abused. The color blue will always help her remember the abuse that some children endure, she said.

“I never intend to forget the battered, bruised bodies of my grandchildren,” Finney said. “Bruises are black and then eventually blue. Therefore, blue serves as a constant reminder to me to fight for our children.”

To help fund the services and programs of the YSB of Illinois Valley, baskets of blue ribbon pins are available at businesses and offices throughout the Illinois Valley area. Also, yard signs may be purchased for $10 each and ordered by calling 815-431-3008.

In addition to Bureau County, YSB of Illinois Valley serves 19 other counties in North Central Illinois.

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