It is Child Abuse Prevention Month


I like to think all months are child abuse prevention months. We all should report any child abuse that comes to our attention by calling the abuse hotline or notifying police. However, April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month in our country.

A conference featuring discussions on the latest research on a variety of topics concerning prevention were held last week in Alabama at the National Symposium on Child Abuse. Chris Newlin, executive director of the National Children’s Advocacy Centers, explained that child care workers are aiming for a holistic approach to care – “all under one roof.”

Newlin said his organization is seeing a troubling trend – an increase in child neglect across the nation. In Texas, Children’s Advocacy Centers served more than 26,000 children last year. More than two-thirds of them reported sexual abuse, with the alleged perpetrator most often related to or known to the child.

“Child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, is not just a criminal justice issue, not just a Child Protective Services issue,” Newlin said. “It’s that, plus a mental health issue, a medical issue – and only by having these professionals work together,” will we “be able to be effective in our response.”

There are 24 Child Advocacy Centers in Ohio and many more in states around the nation. The Centers  provide child abuse prevention training to more than a half-million people a year. The centers can be contacted if child abuse is suspected in your area. Working with local law enforcement, these centers help abused children recover and find more healthy living situations.

Newlin said “the child-friendly setting and team strategy have paid off for county and state budgets – and for individual families.”

More information is online at http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org

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