HARVEY - How child abuse affects the innocence of children was what made one Marquette Senior High School student spend his Saturday afternoon spreading the message of how to prevent it.
Bailey Inch, 15, held a child abuse awareness event Saturday at Lakenenland Sculpture Park in Chocolay Township with refreshments and handouts containing information on the topic.
Inch said he was inspired to plan the event following the recent death of the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings football player Adrian Peterson. The boyfriend of the child's mother was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery, with the possibility of more serious charges to come.
A sculpture at the iconic Lakenenland Park welcomes visitors, including those who came out Saturday to hear the message from a Marquette Senior High School student talking about preventing child abuse. (Journal file photo)
It was important to have the event, Inch said, "Mostly because it's not something you hear of every day. It's such a sad thing."
Inch also was proactive in this thinking to "make sure there isn't anybody else getting abused."
Inch said he was appalled someone would beat a child to death. He urged people to make notes if a child has signs of physical injury.
"It's kind of a problem everywhere," Inch said. "You can't say it's necessarily in one spot."
Inch put out cards with information about where to find out more about child abuse as well as posters detailing various kinds of abuse. Signs of emotional abuse, for example, include a child being withdrawn or exhibiting extremes in behavior. Signs of physical abuse include shying away from being touched, flinching and wearing inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries.
Signs of sexual abuse involve a child having trouble walking or sitting, being unwilling to change clothes in front of people or being a runaway. Neglect also is a form of abuse, as exhibited by school tardiness and untreated illnesses.
Bailey's mother Lisa said her son really wanted to put on the event, particularly in light of the Peterson tragedy.
She said, "He was really pushy - 'We've got to do it before people forget.'"
Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is email@example.com