Child advocacy groups held a small rally at the statehouse Wednesday night where Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month.
2,000 blue luminaries lined the walkways on the statehouse lawn. Kristie Palestino, the Executive Director of the Granite State Children’s Alliance says they represent the roughly 2,000 children who were sexually abused in New Hampshire last year alone. Following a speech by Governor Hassan and outgoing Attorney General Michael Delaney, a brief ceremony is performed. Palestino says it’s symbolic of the courage it takes for child victims to come forward.
“We’re having a child walk down this center aisle here and she’s representing children who have been sexually abused.”
Halfway down the aisle, the girl meets a Nashua detective in his dress blues. He takes her by the hand.
“And he will guide her the rest of the way and that symbolizes the strength in that relationship.”
Palestino says one out of every ten child victims of sexual abuse come forward.