Residents See Marion County Through Eyes Of An Abused Child - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Residents See Marion County Through Eyes Of An Abused Child

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FAIRMONT -

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. In fact, statistics say there is an average of 3 million calls that come in every year just in the United States. These calls involve 6 million children, and on average four of them are dying every single day.

"Child abuse is a problem in every community. It goes across every socio-economic status in all levels of society and we are seeing it increase," said Kim Baker, Director Marion County CASA.

Catherine Reigel was a victim of child abuse and is using her experience to help others.

"I couldn't deal with it. I was on the verge of suicide, depression and I know there are kids out there that have been through that and I want to help them get through it," she said.

Reigel went on the 16th annual Child Watch Tour, along with dozens of others, to see Marion County through the eyes of an abused child.

"It definitely hits hard emotionally because I've been through similar situations," Reigel said. "It hits hard at home. I know what the kids have been through. I can physically feel the pain that they have gone through because I've been through it."

Each person on the tour is assigned a child that has gone through a very real situation many years ago.

"They have clues everywhere we go about what the next thing is the child their assigned to's case," Baker said. "They realize they are siblings with each other and they just kind of get a story of the child they are representing."

Participants got on and off the bus more then a dozen times, going into every location an abused child would see.

Some of those places included Try It Again Homes, CASA of Marion County, the Child Advocacy Center, and even the Marion County courthouse.

While the tour was there, County Commission President Butch Tennant read a proclamation, making April 'Child Abuse Awareness Month'.

A flag was raised in honor of abused children who've lost their lives and awards were given to community members who have worked to help abused children.

Reigel said the entire process is hard for children, but she knows first hand what's the hardest.

"The hardest part is telling your story. Expressing it. I know because I'm still going through counseling for it. It's still had to relive all of it but I know it will help in the end," she said.

Organizers said one of the best ways you can help an abused child is to become a foster parent.

You can contact 'Try It Again Homes' at 304-363-5863 if you are interested.