Child Abuse Prevention Day recognized across MI

Community leaders, parents and lawmakers outside the state capitol in Lasing on April 27, 2017 as part of Child Abuse Prevention Day.

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The parents of a West Michigan infant who died at a home day care joined lawmakers Thursday to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Day.

Zach and Mary Fales at the steps of the Michigan Capitol building in Lansing on Thursday, April 27, 2017 as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The parents of Cooper Fales were among the children and community members who gathered for the important cause. Cooper was 3 months old when his parents found him dead in his baby carrier after picking him up from day care. Investigators determined that day care that had a number of violations.

Zach and Mary Fales have been pushing for tougher penalties if a child dies in a day care provider’s care. Their efforts resulted in Gov. Rick Snyder signing the package of bills into law late last year.

In Muskegon Thursday, Mayor Stephen Gawron made a proclamation commemorating Child Abuse Prevention Day.

To commemorate Child Abuse Prevention Day, 1,230 blue ribbons were placed outside of the Muskegon County Courthouse on April 27, 2017.

There were 1,230 blue ribbons placed outside of the Muskegon County Courthouse to represent the number of child abuse and neglect cases in the county last year.

“I’ve seen victims of abuse turn to drugs, alcohol and sadly even suicide to relieve themselves of the emotional pain that comes with abuse, but I also see hope,” said Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat.

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983.