One in five children in the U.S. will experience abuse before the age of 18.
That’s according to staff at Embrace Families, the lead nonprofit agency overseeing foster care, adoption and child welfare services in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
To kick off April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, Embrace Families partnered with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies to host a stylish event called the MANicure Movement.
Embrace Families launched the MANicure Movement locally in 2017 to spark conversation about the often unnoticed issue in a visual way.
Community leaders and residents participate by painting their index fingernails in “prevention blue” to raise awareness that child abuse is a national public health crisis.
“It’s rare to see a man’s fingernails painted, and even rarer, if at all, to see just one nail on each hand showcasing a bold blue,” said Danielle Abbey, communications manager for Embrace Families. “Friends, family and community members are naturally inclined to ask about or comment on the nail, allowing these men the opportunity to start a conversation about the MANicure Movement and their support.”
The initiative is being introduced statewide this year.
Abbey said Embrace Families has formed partnerships with 11 other agencies with locations ranging from Miami to Pensacola, who have adopted the MANicure Movement campaign as part of their own National Child Abuse Prevention Month awareness efforts.
The event also has its own website, MANicureMovement.com, where supporters can take a pledge to end child abuse, organize their own prevention fundraiser and donate to Embrace Families.