Magazine article Children's Voice

Exhibit Showcases Resiliency of Abused Children and How to Help

Magazine article Children's Voice

Exhibit Showcases Resiliency of Abused Children and How to Help

Article excerpt

Every now and then, a horrendous case of child abuse hits the headlines and briefly raises public attention around the issue. The case of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown is one such example, recalls Mel Schneiderman, Director of the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection in New York City.

School administrators reported suspected abuse of Nixzmary, but help didn't come soon enough. The starved and beaten 36-pound girl died of a blow to the head, inflicted by her mother's boyfriend in her Brooklyn home, in January 2006.

The Fontana Center is on a mission to keep the issue of child abuse in the spotlight and prevent cases like Nixzmary's from happening again with a new permanent exhibit on child abuse and protection. The center began offering public tours of the exhibit in October to parent-teacher groups, religious institutions, and other groups to educate the public about child maltreatment and what they can do to protect children.

"We thought it would be innovative and effective to sensitize the public to the issue of child abuse," Schneiderman says.

The interactive exhibit provides answers to frequently asked questions about child maltreatment. Guests select different topics from a monitor to receive a lesson on particular aspects of child abuse. The exhibit also features information on the stages abused children go through during the healing process. Visitors can view a short film about the necessity of child protection centers and study a timeline on the evolution of child protection services created by John E. …

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