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Milwaukee nonprofit begins new push to end cycle of child abuse; ‘Your connection is their protection’

MILWAUKEE -- This April, local organizations are asking you to play a part in keeping children safe.

The Parenting Network, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit founded more than 40 years ago, is working to end the cycle of abuse that affects children across the nation. On Monday, April 9, officials took a step forward in keeping families strong.

Reggie Moore, Director of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention

Silver and blue pinwheels are putting a spin on child abuse prevention -- serving as a reminder that every kid deserves a safe childhood.

"I think there's a premise that 'it's not happening in my house. I shouldn't be concerned about it.' But what happens in the house next door to you affects all of us," said Reggie Moore, director of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention.

Mayor Tom Barrett presented a proclamation to The Parenting Network on Monday, recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Joyce Felker, executive director for The Parenting Network

"This is so significant to bring awareness and to acknowledge the role we all play in protecting children and strengthening families," said Joyce Felker, executive director for The Parenting Network.

The nonprofit connects parents in the community through workshops, parent cafés and a 24-hour hotline. It also works for the parents of tomorrow.

"Because our youth are not prepared to take on the responsibility of raising a child, so we go into the schools, Milwaukee Public Schools, charter schools, private schools and we educate youth on prevention," Felker said.

That empowers clients to nurture children and promote a healthy upbringing.

"So it's critically important that we see the children in our community as our children. Not just the little ones, but all of them and understand our responsibility to support and protect them," Moore said.

"Listen to your children. Everyone deserves to be heard, and love unconditionally because your connection is their protection," Felker said.