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Wolfson Children's Hospital launches 'hit-free' policy

Some local leaders, agencies stand behind effort

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Wolfson Children's Hospital launched 'hit-free' zones Thursday in an effort to combat corporal punishment.

Hospital president Michael Aubin said the 'hit-free zone' initiative goes beyond alternatives for parents striking their children. He said the zones should be launched throughout the city as a way to reduce violence.

"We want to really change our community and make it better," Aubin said. "I think the next phase is having Councilman Dennis get the city engaged."

Signs will notify where 'hit free' zones are located in the hospital. In the zones, there is no toleration of:

  • An adult hitting a child
  • An adult hitting another adult
  • A child hitting an adult
  • A child hitting a child

City Councilman Garrett Dennis, who attended Thursday's news conference, and other community leaders stand behind the idea.

"When they reached out to me, I'm assuming because I've been on the forefront of many of the child issues here in our city, I joined without any hesitation," Dennis said.

Dennis hopes to get the city of Jacksonville on-board with the initiative, as other agencies have committed to launching their own 'hit-free' zones.


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