MCHS event highlights child abuse awareness
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Child abuse prevention month was recognized with a ribbon hanging, as Marshfield Clinic Health Systems (MCHS) and Marshfield Medical Center officials tied 362 blue ribbons to the trees outside the medical offices cafeteria at the hospital.
Dr. Kristen Iniguez, the medical director for the Marshfield Child Advocacy Center, said there is one ribbon for each child abuse and neglect case seen at the center in 2018.
“We know that there are over 5,000 confirmed cases of abuse across the state each year,” Iniguez said. “That’s just scratching the surface, because many of the cases of child abuse don’t ever get to the level of being recognized by law enforcement and Child Protective Services. So, there are just thousands of children who are affected by this that aren’t being recognized.
“The unfortunate piece is, whether it’s a type of abuse that leaves a lasting mark or it’s a form of abuse that is more emotional, it changes the way a child’s brain develops and functions and that will portend to poor overall health outcomes through their lifetime – and that’s physical health, mental health, and intellectual health as well”
The Marshfield Child Advocacy Center is housed at MCHS. The center has a long history of providing support for child victims of abuse and neglect and their families across northern and central Wisconsin. The Center was established in 2009 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.