Wichita organization sets sights on helping to prevent child abuse

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- As a mother of four children, Emily Thengvall has an especially hard time hearing about cases of child abuse.

"My heart strings are pulled. It's absolutely disgusting," Thengvall said. "The worst case scenario is what we've just experienced in this city with a young baby girl."

It's cases like this week's news of Baby Emma that Thengvall, the President of the Junior League of Wichita, says her organization is dedicated to help to prevent.

"It's definitely something we all feel intensely about and that we want to see families get the support they need," Thengvall said.

The organization, which is made up of 800 local women, has spent the past several years meeting with community leaders and educating its members about the growing issue of child abuse in Wichita.

All that preparation has led them in the past couple months to launch a smart-phone friendly web site. They say childabusewichita.org is essentially a one-stop-shop for people seeking resources when it comes to child abuse.

"It'll tell you what to do if you are suspicious of abuse. It will help educate you. But if you are one of those community members who just want to get behind this effort, it'll help you understand the best places you can go to serve the community along with us," Thengvall said.

The website went live at the beginning of April. Thengvall said they will continue to add to it with more information.

In addition to the website, the Junior League of Wichita has been working with USD 259 to bring an educational puppet show to third and fourth graders. They've partnered with the organization CLASS to help mentor young women. And, Thengvall says they're funding the training wing of the new Child Advocacy Center that will soon be built.

But the website is probably their most biggest project in scope. Thhere's one key theme about child abuse that Thengvall and Junior League of Wichita hope you'll take away from the site as you explore the links:

"If you are suspicious (that child abuse is going on), do not hesitate. Call 911," Thengvall said. "Be that person in a child's life for the betterment of the child's future."

To visit childabusewichita.org please Click here

To learn more about the Junior League of Wichita, please Click here

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