NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris Demonstrates Commitment to Aiding Victims of Child Abuse, Attends Childhelp National Day of Hope Event
Members of Congress, Prominent Activists, Advance Efforts to Prevent Child Abuse and Aid Victims
April 24, 2015 09:09 AM
Joining several members of Congress and other advocates, Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, attended the Childhelp National Day of Hope Luncheon on Wednesday, April 22, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, as part of his dedication to aiding victims and preventing child abuse.
Each year, Childhelp observes April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and the first Wednesday of April as the National Day of Hope. The luncheon recognizes the National Day of Hope and serves as a forum for lawmakers and advocates to discuss the best ways to address the needs of victims.
Childhelp is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to aiding victims of child abuse. The founders of Childhelp, Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, have devoted their lives to leading the fight against child abuse. They were nominated for a Nobel Peace prize as result of their efforts on behalf of children. As a result of Childhelp’s efforts, the number of Americans who recognize child abuse as a major problem has increased dramatically. Childhelp also has an established hotline, staffed 24/7 by trained counselors: 1-800-4-A-CHILD. In addition, the group’s leadership resulted in Federal legislation being enacted in 2006 to establish a national registry of those convicted of child abuse.
Senators John McCain and Dianne Feinstein were honorary co-chairs of the Childhelp National Day of Hope Luncheon. Other members of Congress attending the event included: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bob Corker (R-TN), Robert P. Casey, Jr., Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Richard Burr (R-NC), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO). The members of Congress discussed legislation they have sponsored to address and prevent child exploitation and abuse. Childhelp’s 2015 Legislative Call to Action in support of federal legislation includes: the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act (S. 166), introduced by Senator John McCain and Senator Amy Klobuchar; the Stop Advertising Victims Exploitation Act (H.R. 285), introduced by Congresswoman Ann Wagner; the Training Teachers to Recognize Child Abuse Act, to be introduced shortly by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Roy Blunt; the Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015 (S. 140), introduced by Diane Feinstein; and the Do Not Track Kids Act, to be introduced shortly by Senator Edward J. Markey.
During the event, Senator Casey commended Halamandaris on spending just as much of his time looking after abused children as he does with seniors with complex medical problems.
NAHC has a long-standing relationship with Childhelp and strongly supports efforts to aid victims of child abuse. Halamandaris has served on Childhelp’s National Board. He also chaired a concert honoring Childhelp on its 50th Anniversary. In 2008, NAHC selected O’Meara and Feddersonto receive the humanitarian of the year award due to their commitment to helping children. Most recently, Halamandaris is nominating O’Meara and Fedderson for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
“No organization more effectively advocates for children than Childhelp, and that’s a result of Sarah and Yvonne’s dedicated leadership,” said Halamandaris. “Our children represent not only our future but our present. They deserve to be loved, respected, and supported. Tragically, untold thousands every year are abused physically, sexually, or psychologically. In the US, an average of five children die every day from abuse and thousands more are injured—much of which never comes to light.”
“Our great partnership with Childhelp is part of our dedication to caring for vulnerable individuals on both ends of the age spectrum,” said Halamandaris. “As Hubert Humphrey once said, ‘the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.’”
More information about the Childhelp National Day of Hope or other Childhelp programs and services is available here.