STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: BEN TANZER
(W): 312-663-3520 X823
(C): 312-806-4066

A Healthy Future For All

CHICAGO, IL, December 31, 2013 – The playing field in our country just got a bit more level for access to mental health services. The new budget deal that recently passed Congress will have $100 million earmarked specifically towards expanding the use of innovative tools and effective practices to increase access to mental health services.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, there are approximately 57 million people in America today who are suffering with mental health issues that impact their ability to be successful in school or on the job. These struggles aren’t just felt by the person experiencing it though; mental health issues affect family life greatly and can also affect the way that people interact with their children. This in turn can undermine the learning process and healthy child development in enormous ways.

In this way, we see how mental health issues affect not only the person suffering from them, but their family and community as well. And in this way, we see how this budget deal and the commitment to improving access to mental health treatment will make a difference in the lives of countless people nationwide.

According to the NIMH, the average cost of mental health services per person is $1,591. Numbers like that illustrate that this current deal can begin to help 63,000 Americans. This is a good start and a tremendous step in the right direction, and we look forward to unique and innovative ways in the community and corporate sectors as well as the government sector to take care of the other 57 million people who need help too. Government cannot be the sole supporter of essential services like mental health care.

Still, we’re pleased that someone suffering with anything ranging from substance abuse to schizophrenia will be able to get the help they need. We’re even more pleased about the healthy future that will come of it.

“We applaud the Administration for taking this important step towards the goal of raising the healthiest children and families possible and the congressional approval of the budget,” said Jim Hmurovich, President & CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “Mental health is a critically important issue facing all people in this country, but one that has special impact for children and families. We know, for example, that the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that lost productivity due to mental health issues costs the nation $63 billion per year. This initiative will help redirect that lost cost into our communities which will help them thrive, and with healthier communities, there will be healthier children, and a better future for the nation.”

 

 

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Jared Fogle and the Roles We Can All Play in the Lives of Children


Jared Fogle and the Roles We Can All Play in the Lives of Children

CHICAGO, IL, August 21, 2015 – When we hear stories like that about former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle who has been charged with child pornography and child prostitution, it can be shocking. It can cause confusion. It can cause anger. And these reactions make sense.

However, we can’t allow these reactions to prevent us from taking action, because at Prevent Child Abuse America we know – and the research shows – that there are steps that each of us can take that can help prevent a situation like this from happening in the future.

At Prevent Child Abuse America we believe that all children deserve great childhoods because our children are our future. This seems like such a simple sentiment, but it drives our work every day, because it speaks to the many things that we want for our children – all children – and our nation: healthy, productive adults who have a positive impact on the communities they live in.

We’re sure that you want that too, but at the same time recognize that it is often difficult to act without knowing what to do. In light of this story, we’ve compiled some ideas on how you can make a difference in the lives of children and families in your community, and help you turn your natural feelings of anger or confusion into positive and proactive steps that can make a difference.

For parents, please note that the children in this story appear to have been accessed on-line, and so parents, you must be conscientious in monitoring your children’s on-line use. To quote the Six Pillars for Prevention from National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, “Today’s children and youth have never known a world that is not filled with technology. Since technology is now an integral part of all our daily lives, parents must be diligent in who can access our children and youth.”

For ideas about how to do this, you can use resources like “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety” from the FBI.

For our communities, we must work together to end the demand for children as sexual commodities. Rather than responding after the harm and focusing on how to reduce risk for potential victims, we have to identify factors that feed demand for children to be viewed as sexual objects in mainstream media, takes away barriers to sexually abusing/exploiting children, makes it easier to access child sexual abuse images or children/teens depictions in pornography and/or children to buy to sexually exploit.

And for our legal system, we must attend to child victims of sex trafficking as victims, not sex workers. Children, by definition are developmentally incapable of giving consent, even if they think they did. They are victims and deserve to be treated as such. The adults who exploited them must be held accountable and the children offered the help they deserve.

On this final point, we want to be clear: we should not be prosecuting kids who are victims, and many states have passed Safe Harbor laws to avoid doing just that. You can learn more about these laws at the American Bar Association.

“As we work at Prevent Child Abuse America to prevent the abuse and neglect of children before it can ever occur,” said James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America, “we look at strategies that can involve everyone from individuals and families to communities and law makers. This troubling story of Jared Fogle has lessons for all of these areas, and in all of these areas there are roles we can, and must, play.”

Announcing Anita Odom as Senior Director of Chapter Services


Announcing Anita Odom as the Senior Director of Chapter Services

Prevent Child Abuse America is pleased to announce the addition of Anita Odom to The National Office Team beginning September 14, 2015. She will assume the responsibilities of the Senior Director of Chapter Services.

Anita is a well-known and respected member of our organization having served as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida for the past four years. Thanks to her work with the Ounce of Prevention Fund and the Prevent Child Abuse chapter in Florida, Anita is experienced and knowledgeable of chapter network operations. Her “can-do” attitude will serve all of us well in this new role.

Anita is a graduate of Janus Pannonius University in Hungary, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Educational Administration. She is also a graduate of Florida State University, Cum Laude, with a B.S. in Sociology. Prior to beginning her career with the Ounce of Prevention Fund in 2004, Anita worked as a Program Assistant and then Program Coordinator for the National Philharmonie in Hungary.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida, Anita is also familiar with our Healthy Families America program thanks to her time working as the Healthy Families Plus Program Coordinator in Florida from September 2006 to September 2011.

Please join me in welcoming Anita to the Prevent Child Abuse America National Office. Anita can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Boris Kodjoe of the 'Boris & Nicole Show' to host Inaugural 'Party for Prevention' at the LA Zoo


Boris Kodjoe of the 'Boris & Nicole Show' to host Inaugural 'Party for Prevention' at the LA Zoo

Special Guest Jessica St. Clair of USA Network’s ‘Playing House’ to also appear at August 29th event to benefit Prevent Child Abuse America and its Calif. chapter

Los Angeles, August 26, 2015 – Boris Kodjoe of “The Boris & Nicole Show,” “Last Man on Earth,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood” and “Soul Food” will headline the inaugural Party for Prevention at the LA Zoo on Saturday, August 29, from 1:00 to 4:00pm. Joining Kodjoe as a Special Guest will be Jessica St. Clair, creator and co-star of USA Network’s, “Playing House.” Proceeds from the event will benefit Prevent Child Abuse America and Prevent Child Abuse California to help ensure great childhoods for all children nationally and in Southern California. 

Designed to encourage playful interaction between parents and their children, this event will feature a range of engaging activities for parents and kids, visits from several of the zoo’s animals, lunch, dessert, silent auction and raffle. Many companies have come together to make this event possible, including lead sponsor NBCUniversal and media partner Angeleno Magazine. To purchase tables and tickets to the 2015 “Party for Prevention” at the LA Zoo, visit www.preventchildabuse.org/LA2015. 

“I am very proud to associate with and support these two wonderful organizations,” said Kodjoe. “As a father of two, I can think of nothing more important than giving my children, and all children across the country, every opportunity to enjoy a healthy and happy childhood and the chance to lead full and productive lives.”

Added St. Clair, “As an actress, comedian and writer I play many roles, but none more important than that of ‘mom.’ When I come home, no matter what kind of day I have had on the set, I am just ‘mom;’ and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Half of this event’s proceeds will benefit Prevent Child Abuse California to make a difference among children and families in and around Los Angeles. Added Prevent Child Abuse California President & CEO, Sheila Boxley, “Our responsibility is to be of service to and a voice for all children and families throughout California. This event will help us pursue that ambition in the Los Angeles area. We look forward to launching this new event and helping it grow over time.”

Support has also been generously provided by the Kappa Delta Private Foundation, Toyota Motor Sales LA, Tejon Ranch, Latham & Watkins and Psomas.

“Each of us plays an important role in ensuring that all children have a great childhood because our children are our future,” said Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO, James M. Hmurovich. “Through this event, our guests, sponsors and Boris are doing their part and taking our shared responsibility to the next generation very seriously. I cannot thank them enough for their support.”

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