April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center ends their month-long awareness campaign with their annual ‘Step Up 4 Kids’ 5k and fun run.
The family fun event is Sunday, April 28th at Onondaga Lake Park. It starts with the half-mile fun run for the kids, followed by the certified 5K. After the races, there will be an awards presentation in addition to children’s games, activities, music and snacks.
Mostly importantly, there will be chance for those attending to learn about child abuse, the signs to watch for, and how to get involved if you suspect it.
McMahon Ryan’s race efforts have been driven by volunteers this month. Nadia Tsai is a mother and the Co-Race Director; she says she volunteered to end the stigma around child abuse.
“Child abuse hides in the shame and the secrets. But if we could open up and shed light on that then there’s no work for it to hide. I think it’s important as parents to support that cause and child abuse in our community.”
As a parent-volunteer, Tsai learned that when it comes to child sex abuse, communication is key.
“When they come and talk to you when something happens, don’t get upset or anything,” Tsai said. “Always keep calm even though you’re freaking out on the inside.”
Proceeds from ‘Step Up 4 Kids’ will help support the work of the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center.
On April 28th, registration begins at 8am, with the fun run starting at 9:30 and the 5K starting a half-hour later, at 10am.
If you suspect child abuse or need help yourself, please click here.