Stop Child Abuse Campaign
In January 2006, a 7-year-old girl named Nixzmary Brown was beaten to death in her home in Brooklyn. She weighed just 36 pounds. She had missed weeks of school in the months leading up to her death. She often had cuts and bruises, and vague explanations - another fall, another accident. Home was a horror for Nixzmary, but somehow, so many caring adults in her community missed the signs of her abuse. In response, Safe Horizon and Mariska Hargitay joined forces to launch an extensive public awareness campaign in March of 2006.
Advertisements proclaimed a compelling rallying cry: "Turn Your Outrage and Grief into Action." Readers were directed to over 300 branches of North Fork Bank, now Capital One Bank, where they could request "10 Ways to Stop Child Abuse," a resource developed by Safe Horizon's crisis intervention and child trauma experts that outlines common signs of child abuse as well as how and where to report it.
On March 18, 2008, Nixzmary Brown's stepfather was convicted of first-degree manslaughter. Her mother will soon be tried on murder charges. With increased public awareness of the signs of abuse, we hope to decrease the need to seek justice for children and increase the joy, comfort and well-being that safety, security and caring can bring to their lives.