Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, center, speaks as state lawmakers and children’s welfare advocates attend a Blue Shirt Day event at the Alaska State Capitol, honoring the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month on April 1, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Rep. Geran Tarr, D-Anchorage, center, speaks as state lawmakers and children’s welfare advocates attend a Blue Shirt Day event at the Alaska State Capitol, honoring the beginning of Child Abuse Prevention Month on April 1, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Juneau recognizes beginning of child abuse prevention month

Blue Shirt Day is a national day for child welfare advocacy.

Blue-shirted supporters of the Child Abuse Prevention Month gathered on the steps of the Alaska State Capital on Friday afternoon as lawmakers and advocates raised their voices decrying violence against children.

Go Blue Day comes as the Southeast Alaska Family Evaluation Child Advocacy Center seeks to increase awareness of child abuse in the community and give families the tools to prevent it.

“We’re trying to get the word about the CAC and what we do,” said Rikki DuBois, an outreach coordinator for the SAFE CAC. “Child abuse occurs in secrecy, behind closed doors. I want to reach the average parents.”

[Over three dozen candidates file for Young’s seat as deadline looms]

This year, the CAC’s theme is “Every Child Safe — it shouldn’t hurt to be a child,” Dubois said.

The SAFE CAC, the only organization of its kind in Juneau, is a grant-funded program founded in 1996 and coming fully online in 2001. It falls under the umbrella of Catholic Community Service, said Claire Norman, a victim service assistant. The CAC assists other organizations with child abuse investigations, Norman said — a one-stop arrangement to minimize trauma to children.

“We’re just a neutral party to do the interview and they do the investigation. We also do advocacy for the family and follow up services,” Norman said. “It can be walking the family through the court process if it goes to court. It can be filing for victims of crime compensation. It can be referrals for therapy.”

There are CACs getting stood up in Sitka and Ketchikan, Norman said, but for now, Juneau is the only one around for many communities.

“Right now we’re the main CAC for Southeast Alaska,” Norman said. “Our community really needs the extra hands in this kind of work. It seems like cases have really been increasing in the last few years.”

In 2021, the CAC has 157 cases, Norman said, an increase of nearly 66% since 2016. Helping to get the information of what signs of abuse could be to parents can help prevent it from happening, DuBois said.

“I’ve got an aim of going out and talking to parents. We’ve got to meet at a community level to do community prevention,” DuBois said. “How do we as a community come together to support each other? Parents who are supported are better able to support.”

Members of the CAC took part in a Go Blue Day rally at the Capitol on Friday, and will be staffing a table at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center for the evening’s First Friday event. There will also be two online presentations in April for members of the community, with the specifics announced on the CAC’s social media at

“It’s a nationwide campaign and day,” Norman said. “It’s not just Alaska but we’ve definitely been pushing it a lot.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or

More in News

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014.
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of March. 19

State Sen. Bert Stedman, center, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, presides over a committee hearing Thursday. The committee on Monday approved an $8.4 million fast-track supplemental budget to address staff shortages in processing food stamps, public defenders and legal advocates for vulnerable residents. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Bill with funds to address food stamps backlog goes to governor

Legislature gives near-unanimous approval to hiring extra staff to fix months-long backlog

Hoonah’s Masters Bracket team poses for a group photo on Saturday after being crowned this year’s champs for the M bracket in the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament at JDHS. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Hoonah crowned Gold Medal Masters Bracket champs

Hoonah’s Albert Hinchman named MVP.

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2023, celebrating the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Recent moves by President Joe Biden to pressure TikTok over its Chinese ownership and approve oil drilling in an untapped area of Alaska are testing the loyalty of young voters, a group that’s been largely in his corner. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Biden’s moves on Willow, TikTok test young voters

A potential TikTok ban and the Alaska drilling could weigh down reelection bid.

Students dance their way toward exiting the Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé gymnasium near the end of a performance held before a Gold Medal Basketball Tournament game between Juneau and Hydaburg. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Over $2,500 raised for Tlingit language and culture program during Gold Medal performance

A flurry of regionwide generosity generated the funds in a matter of minutes.

Legislative fiscal analysts Alexei Painter, right, and Conor Bell explain the state’s financial outlook during the next decade to the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Legislators eye oil and sales taxes due to fiscal woes

Bills to collect more from North Slope producers, enact new sales taxes get hearings next week.

The FBI Anchorage Field Office is seeking information about this man in relation to a Wednesday bank robbery in Anchorage, the agency announced Thursday afternoon. Anyone with information regarding the bank robbery can contact the FBI Anchorage Field Office at 907-276-4441 or Tips can be submitted anonymously.  (FBI)
FBI seeks info in Anchorage bank robbery

The robbery took place at 1:24 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kevin Maier
Sustainable Alaska: Climate stories, climate futures

The UAS Sustainability Committee is hosting a series of public events in April…

Reps. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Battle lines for education funding boost get clearer

$800 increase over two years OKd by House committee, Senate proposing $1,348 two-year increase

Most Read