Thursday, April 13, 2017

More than just a number event shines light on community social issues


Today, students from the social work program at Ohio University Chillicothe will be hosting part one of a two-part series of discussions surrounding drug abuse, human trafficking and child abuse in Ross County.

The event held April 13th and April 20th, “More Than Just a Number,” seeks to shine a light on how the community can get involved in combatting these issues.

“Awareness is key,” said Beth Magill, a senior studying social work and organizer of the event. “Knowing how to report and handle stressful situations that involve child abuse, drug abuse and human trafficking is very important. You may be the only voice speaking out for that victim.”  

As a part of the discussion, Julie Oates, a representative from Ross County Human Services, will be speaking about how to recognize the problems, report them and how to socially address it as a community.

A pinwheel display was installed at OUC between Bennett Hall and the Stevenson Center on campus to represent the number of child abuse reports in Ross County.

Julie noted that this year, the display will contain 1,566 pinwheels.

Magill said she hopes that people are made aware of the issues at hand after the event.

“We hope that people understand the proper way to handle said situations and the right way to report abuse as far as who to contact, what to document and/or report,” she noted. “We also hope to open people’s eyes. This is not a ‘big city’ problem, but this is a social problem that needs to be addressed. These are people in need of help and families that need rescued from these generational problems.”

In order to facilitate discussion about all parts of the problem, the event was split into two separate parts. For the April 20th session guest contributors will include Sheriff George Lavender, Terri Minnie, head of the Heroin Task force, and Cathy Hill, director of the Athens County Children’s Services. That event will take place from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Stevenson Center on OUC’s campus.    

Magill expressed that a community problem such as these overwhelming concerns, will take a community effort to make an effective and lasting change.  

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