Marchers protest child abuse at downtown rally

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A small, daylong rally in Esther Short Park on Monday raised community voices against child abuse.

Children Without A Voice, a nationwide nonprofit organization, observed National Child Abuse Month with music and speakers, as well as an ongoing march around the park. When The Columbian stopped by just before lunchtime, about 25 people were there.

"The longer it stays in the dark, the bigger it's going to grow," said local organizer Stephanie Holt. "This is all about awareness." It was the first such march in Vancouver, Holt said, and she's hoping future years will see a bigger turnout.

According to a statement from Children Without A Voice, people in 150 cities and 45 states were marching against child abuse Monday. Learn more about Children Without A Voice at cwavusa.org. Children Without A Voice reports that there are nearly 3 million reports of child abuse in the United States each year.