District Attorney Darcel Clark was joined was joined by community leaders and child protection experts Tuesday as they announced a new awareness campaign aimed at reducing child abuse.
Some stores in the area known as the Hub—where East 149thStreet, Willis Avenue and Third Avenue meet—have agreed to be designated “No Hit Zones,”calm, safe and caring environments for children where adults and children pledge no hitting of any kind. The initiative addresses corporal punishment.
Family homes, schools, hospitals, religious institutions, communities and many more can be No Hit Zones. Signs posted in the No Hit Zone offer a 24–hour hotline number for parents and caregivers who may need crisis counseling.
“I think this campaign will help people to realize how corporal punishment can increase the risk of child abuse, and I am pleased to launch it in the Bronx community with our dedicated partners Dr. Schneiderman and Dr. Hoffman–Rosenfeld,” Clark said. “I know parents and caregivers sometimes are overwhelmed, and I want them to know help is available during crisis moments. I am grateful to Michael Brady, CEO of the Third Avenue BID, for his assistance once again in a community effort, and for the merchants and business owners who will post the signs.”
The National No Hit Zone Committee is part of the National Initiative to End Corporal Punishment (NIECP), whose goal is to help develop, coordinate and lead a national campaign to end corporal punishment in the United States. NIECP is sponsored by three organizations: the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, US Alliance to End the Hitting of Children and the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection of the New York Foundling.
In attendance at the event were Dr. Mel Schneiderman, senior vice president of The New York Foundling’s Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection, Dr. Jaime Hoffman–Rosenfeld, child abuse pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Michael Brady, CEO of the Third Avenue Business Improvement District.
“Being a parent and a caregiver is difficult.Oftentimes we feel there is no support,” Brady said. “The No Hit Zone program encourages a balanced and healthy home life for children and families. The Third Avenue BID is proud to partner on this initiative and launch it in the busiest commercial district in the Bronx where thousands of families live, work and shop.”