Children’s Justice Centers Recognize Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention MonthPosted on Apr 8, 2016 in Featured News
The Children’s Justice Centers (CJC) across the state are participating in a variety of activities throughout April, in recognition of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. Many of the events and activities were planned in conjunction with the Friends of the Children’s Justice Centers, Hawaii State Department of Health, City and County Mayors’ Offices, rotary clubs, and Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii.
In Hawaii, more than 50 percent of reported victims of crime are under 18 years of age. Research shows that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18. On average, the CJC’s see approximately 1,000 children per year; most are alleged victims of sexual assault, but the Centers also serve children who are seriously physically abused and those who are witnesses to crime. However, these statistics are not a true reflection of the magnitude of the problem as child sex abuse often goes unreported. Some studies conclude that only 10 percent of children “tell.”
“We are here to help and provide justice for children,” said Jasmine Mau Mukai, Director of the Children’s Justice Centers. “Many people who drive past our Centers can often mistake them for a house, but our intention is to provide a warm, homelike setting where children can feel as comfortable as possible to reduce the trauma of speaking out.”
Children who witness crimes or are alleged victims of abuse can go to a Center and meet with multidisciplinary team of professionals who coordinate these investigations. The CJC’s are programs of the Hawaii State Judiciary. Since 1988, when the first CJC opened, more than 30,000 children have been served in Hawaii.
A unique feature of the Centers is the public/private partnerships between the Judiciary and the community. Founded by local Rotary Clubs, each neighbor island Center is supported by their Friends of the Children’s Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that provides resources for the Centers, the professionals who work with victims, and the children and families served by the programs.
In addition to displaying pinwheels, which serve as a reminder of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, here is a list of some additional upcoming activities the Centers statewide are participating in:
- Friday, April 8, 2016 from 3-7pm- the East Hawaii Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect is presenting a free Family Fun Night at Sangha Hall (424 Kilauea Avenue, Hilo) which will include food, games, prizes and entertainment
- Saturday, April 9, 2016 from 11am- 4pm – the Kiwanis Club of the Valley Isle is sponsoring a free Keiki Fest from on the Great Lawn of UH Maui College which will include games, prizes, entertainment, food vendors, informational booths and more
- Friday, April 22, 2016- the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Oahu is hosting a “Heroes of Hope” recognition luncheon. The recognition luncheon will honor the numerous government and nonprofit agencies and individuals who are helping child abuse victims and their families
- Friday, April 29, 2016 from 5:30pm- the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of East Hawaii will be hosting their annual “Justice for Children Gala” and Recognition Dinner at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel’s Moku Ola Room. Tickets and tables can be purchased online.
- Wednesday, May 4, 2016- Kids Matter- Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of West Hawaii will be recognizing their Child Welfare Services Investigators
For more information, please visit the Hawaii Children’s Justice Centers’ website at www.courts.state.hi.us.