SCRIBA, N.Y. – On a cloudy Sunday morning, members of Oswego County gathered at the Scriba Town Park to take part in an event that addressed child abuse. The event was hosted by Ride Oswego County, a group that was formed in 2010 with the goal of connecting bike riders across Oswego County.
Bryan Blake, the founder of Ride Oswego, investigated child abuse cases for 15 years with the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department. It is important for the community to be involved with addressing child abuse, Blake said.
“Without community involvement, it’s going to be so much more difficult for law enforcement and the Child Advocacy Center to do their jobs,” Blake said.
In Oswego County, more than one-in-ten children are physically abused and in 97% of those cases, children are abused by someone they know, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County, Karrie Damm said. If children are abused by someone they know, they are unlikely to report them.
“The emotional toil is really difficult and a lot of the children we see here at the advocacy center, they don’t really want their loved one to get in trouble,” Damm said.
Events like Cross Out Child Abuse are effective in helping a community address child abuse, Karrie Damm said.
“When community members, like Jessica, like Bryan, and they lead their friends into an event that puts much needed resources into our local community, that to me is the best possible thing that can happen,” Damm said.
Cross Out Child Abuse will be an annual event held during the last week of September or during the first week of October.