GROTON, CONNECTICUT – Nearly 50 children from Naval Submarine Base New London’s (SUBASE) Youth Center participated in the Child Abuse Awareness Month (CAAM) campaign, held at the base’s commissary, April 16.
The event, sponsored jointly by the base’s Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Counseling and Advocacy Program and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Department, allowed children a unique opportunity to draw pictures on the commissary windows to show their support for non-violence in the home.
“It was an amazing show of support everyone gave on Thursday to make this year’s CAAM Commissary event such a huge success,” said Dennis Goguen, FFSC counseling and advocacy program supervisor. “To see the kids from the base’s Youth Center come out and display their creativity in window drawings and have so much fun raising awareness for child abuse prevention month was very special – and it’s very rewarding to have the kind of support we received from base leadership, MWR, and the Commissary to all come together and show how committed we are here at SUBASE towards such an important cause.”
Following the children showcasing their artistic abilities, they were encouraged to sign the proclamation promoting CAAM, alongside Capt. Carl Lahti, SUBASE Commanding Officer.
“Unfortunately, child abuse does exist in some places in the United States, and that’s a sad thing, but what we want you to know is that SUBASE does not support child abuse – we take action against it,” proclaimed Lahti. “We have counselors readily available to help adults and children. If you think there is a problem, you can talk to your parents or your trusted adult and get help.”
The Department of the Navy Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign is committed to increasing awareness. This year’s theme, “Know the Difference – Discipline is Not Abuse,” emphasizes that awareness.
According to the American Humane Association, “Discipline is how children learn right from wrong, acceptable from unacceptable. All discipline must be age-appropriate. Disciplinarians are responsible for motivating children to improve their behavior and teaching them how to make better choices. The ultimate goal for discipline must be to guide children on how to interact with others and help them so that they mature into emotionally healthy, dependable, empathic, and responsible adults.”
The best way to combat child abuse is to raise awareness, stated Goguen.
After all the hard work the children did to raise awareness for child abuse, they were treated to a cake in honor of CAAM and provided access to resources addressing child abuse.
Navy Team New London Sailors, families and civilians can take a pledge to end child abuse by clicking the following link: http://www.takethecapmpledge.org and completing a pledge form.
“I would like to thank our Fleet and Family and our Child and Youth programs for helping out and to thank you children for helping decorate the Commissary, we always appreciate that,” concluded Lahti. “Thanks for the tremendous support we get throughout the year, highlighting the services we have to prevent child abuse and taking pro-active action to ensure that doesn’t happen.”