Fuerza Pública begins fight against violence to kids

Hospitalized youngster received a face painting from an officer as police distributed gifts and interacted with the young patients. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Jorge Alonso Alvarez

Today is children’s day, but the Fuerza Pública jumped the gun Thursday to bring a message and some celebration to youngsters at the Hospital Nacional de Niños.

The primary goal of the police officers was to promote a culture that prevents violence to children. A campaign to safeguard children was kicked off with a call for adults to call the emergency number for suspected mistreatment of children. The famous children’s hospital sees a lot of child abuse. Many youngsters heal there from mistreatment. Some die there.

Rodolfo Hernández, director of the Hospital Nacional de Niños, said that reducing violence against children requires perseverance, education and a fundamental change in the Costa Rican culture. He said that on the average the hospital sees seven new cases of violence against children each day, be it abandonment, physical aggression, psychological damage, sexual assaults or prenatal maltreatment.

The Fuerza Pública is primarily a preventative force, and officers will be carrying their message to Desamparados at Parque Libertad, in Turrubares at Parque Las Delicias and at the Parque Central in Santa Ana.

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