Greenfield flag raising shines light on ‘pervasive issue’ of child abuse

Greenfield Mayor Ginny Desorgher and other local officials speak on the Greenfield Common to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning.

Greenfield Mayor Ginny Desorgher and other local officials speak on the Greenfield Common to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Jeffrey Trant, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and the North Quabbin, speaks while flanked by Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan and Greenfield Police Chief Todd Dodge on the Greenfield Common to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning.

Jeffrey Trant, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and the North Quabbin, speaks while flanked by Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan and Greenfield Police Chief Todd Dodge on the Greenfield Common to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Members of the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts dance on the Greenfield Common during a flag-raising ceremony for Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning.

Members of the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts dance on the Greenfield Common during a flag-raising ceremony for Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Members of the Greenfield Police Department Honor Guard raise the flag on the Greenfield Common to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning.

Members of the Greenfield Police Department Honor Guard raise the flag on the Greenfield Common to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month on Friday morning. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 04-05-2024 2:01 PM

GREENFIELD — While it’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child, the message shared at Friday’s flag-raising event in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month went one step further.

“Well, it takes a whole community to uplift and to protect children,” Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan remarked to what he said was the largest crowd they’ve ever had at the Greenfield Common for the annual flag raising. “I’m so proud of the Greenfield community for coming out strong for children.”

Each year, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and the North Quabbin, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office and the city of Greenfield partner for a flag-raising event to recognize the importance of the community and public safety agencies’ roles in preventing child abuse. Also included in the event were children and teens from the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts, who closed the commemoration with songs and dancing.

“The goal is to not only raise awareness, but also create a world where all children are given the chance to grow up in an environment free from abuse and neglect, with opportunities to thrive,” added Katie Rosewarne, director of domestic and sexual violence projects with the DA’s office. “Child abuse is happening everywhere, which also means it’s happening locally, so we’re so grateful everybody has come out locally to support this event.”

Sullivan called attention to the silhouette standing in as one of the six children depicted on the flag, which represents the “sobering” fact that one in six children between the ages of 1 and 18 are abused.

Mayor Ginny Desorgher, reading a proclamation to designate April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in the city, said it takes everyone to protect the future generations.

“The youth of our community represent our brightest future, and whereas every child in the world deserves to be treated with respect, integrity and compassion,” Desorgher said in the proclamation. “Child abuse remains a pervasive issue that requires our collective efforts and resources to address.”

Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Jeffrey Trant emphasized the importance of the community partnerships forged between his organization, the DA’s office, the Greenfield Police Department and other agencies in the region, including the state Department of Children and Families.

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“This is an issue that we confront right here in Greenfield on a daily basis,” Trant said, noting that since the agency opened its doors at 56 Wisdom Way in 2016, it has worked with more than 800 children in the area. “This is a local issue and the people around this common are the folks who, day in and day out, are tirelessly supporting our community. … While we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month today, please make sure this is something that stays front of mind each and every day because we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that our children, our future, are safe and healthy.”

For more information about the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and the North Quabbin, visit the agency’s website at cacfranklinnq.org.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com.