Joyful Heart in the News

Groups begin statewide child abuse prevention campaign

January 22nd, 2012
The Garden Island
The Garden Island

The Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund partnered with the Joyful Heart Foundation to begin a statewide public awareness campaign called “One Strong ‘Ohana.”

The groups will integrate television, radio, online and print public service announcements with grassroots programs, organizers said in a news release.

“The campaign theme of ‘One Strong ‘Ohana’ was born out of the deep-rooted belief we all share here in Hawai‘i — that we are all part of one ‘ohana,” said Aileen Deese, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund advisory committee and program director of Prevent Child Abuse Hawai‘i.

“Through this campaign, we hope to increase awareness that there are simple ways to reach out and be there for a family, such as bringing a meal or offering child care,” she said in the news release.

The Joyful Heart Foundation conducted a study last year to determine the extent of child abuse in the state.

The study found that nearly 40 percent of those surveyed know a victim of child abuse, and that 80 percent think child abuse is a major problem.

The survey also found that 64 percent of residents said it is difficult to identify the signs of abuse.

And 27 percent said they were reluctant to report suspected abuse or neglect.

From local research results, the campaign’s organizers said it became clear that parents with a strong social network of emotionally supportive family, friends and neighbors are less likely to abuse or neglect their children.

“Through our work nationally, we’ve been involved in spreading awareness of the signs of child abuse and neglect and inspiring public dialogue about this issue,” Mariska Hargitay, the award-winning television actor who also is Joyful Heart’s founder and president, said in the news release.

 “We’re privileged now to turn our attention, resources and activism to child abuse prevention and awareness efforts here on the islands,” she said.

Key sponsors for the campaign include Jamba Juice Hawai‘i, Whole Foods Market and Fun Factory Inc.

For more information on the One Strong ‘Ohana campaign, visit

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