“Step Up Prevention” was the name of the event, where children and families, state and city officials, and advocates came together to acknowledge issues of child abuse and neglect. The event, hosted by the Children’s Trust Fund, lined children’s shoes on the steps of Pittsfield City Hall. Children’s Trust Fund CEO Alicia Lenahan remarked that Pittsfield is the final stop in the yearly event…
The shoes, which were purchased by the Boston Bruins, were distributed to families participating in Children’s Trust Fund programs. The weekly average 622 reported cases of child abuse in Massachusetts marks a decline from previous years, which were approximately 700 reported cases.
The first display at the State House in Boston acknowledged the number with 622 pairs. In Springfield, 121 pairs were displayed, recognizing one week of reported abuse in Hampden County, 107 pairs were placed at Worcester City to recognized one month in Worcester County.
3rd Berkshire District Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, who has worked in coordinating the event in Pittsfield the past, remarked on the fact there were five less pairs of shoes on Pittsfield’s steps this year than last year.
Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi officially declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in the city.
1st Berkshire District Representative Gail Cariddi of North Adams also attended the event. In a statewide report, Pittsfield and North Adams were both listed as areas of “high incidence” of child abuse.
Representatives from area groups Child Care of the Berkshires, Berkshire Children and Families, and the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition attended, as with members of the Berkshire Delegation, city officials, and Brittany Lutz, a 16year old mother who spoke about the help Healthy Families Berkshire County home visiting program provides.