County raises flag in honor of child abuse victims

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Kern County officials joined more than 100 people from the community Friday to raise a flag in honor of child abuse victims, just days after the Board of Supervisors proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Dena Murphy, interim director of the county's Human Services Department, joined other county leaders outside of the department building in Bakersfield to call on the community to report suspected child abuse.

"The memorial flag raising is important because it draws awareness to the child's life that's been lost," Murphy said. "Quite often when you have instances of abuse or neglect, we have found that there are individuals, neighbors, friends, family members, who had concerns. They suspected something."

Thirty-eight children, most under the age of 4, have died due to child abuse since 2009, according to the department.

"Come on Kern County, enough's enough," said Tom Corson, executive director of the Kern County Network for Children. "Thirty-eight children since 2009? We can't let this happen."

Two more flag raising ceremonies have been scheduled.

One is set for Friday, April 11, at the County Complex in Lake Isabella. Another is scheduled on Friday, April 26, at the Kern County Fire Station No. 21 in Taft.

The 2nd annual Kern County Victims Rights March will also take place at the liberty bell on Tuesday, April 8.

Anyone seeking to report suspected child abuse can make an anonymous call to Child Protective Services at (661) 631-6011.