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Group raises awareness of child abuse

Posted on in Divorce
lucyNot only in support of 2-year-old Gracelynn “Gracie” Rose Smith, but for all child abuse victims, people recently filled the yard of the Tazewell County Courthouse to protest child abuse. Gracie’s friends and family gathered in front of the courthouse to ask people to sign a petition that proposes a law requiring all child abusers to register with law enforcement. Gracie suffered from a cracked skull, slight brain bleeding and abdominal trauma, along with other injuries in August 2012, said her family. Luckily, she has made a full recovery. Her father Blake Smith of North Pekin said, “Today, it’s not just about what happened to my daughter. We’re also trying to raise awareness in general.” Gracie’s family’s goal is to complete a petition with signatures on paper or online through The petition is intended for U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, state Rep. Mike Unes, R-East Peoria, and Gov. Pat Quinn. At the moment, the Illinois State Police maintains a Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry. Smith said the support of everyone is what keeps people going. “Child abuse is all around us. If they can’t talk, we need to be their voice.” Karmen Toney, Gracie’s mom, said, “I want to see everybody sign the petition. And just be more aware of who your kids are talking to and who they’re around.” Joy Denny, one of Gracie’s great-grandmothers, said that they have spent every month at the courthouse in support of Gracie, and they would do the same for any other family that may be going through this. “As great-grandparents, grandparents or parents, we have to stand stronger to protect our children. If we have to force law enforcement to help us to that, then that’s what we’ll do.” She added that they are getting closer to getting enough signatures. Toney said, Gracie has made a full recovery, thank God. She’s a happy, healthy, go lucky baby girl again.” If your child has gone through abuse like Gracie has, contact a family law attorney in St. Charles, Ill. to fight for your rights. Goostree Law Group will defend you and your child for the abuse that he or she had to suffer.
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