April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Remember how talking to your parents or that person you looked up to made you feel safe? Now imagine how you would feel if the person who was supposed to be the source of safety is the source of fear. Child abuse causes lifelong bruises. Each year there are 3 million case of child abuse reported in America alone.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, SOS encourages individuals and organizations to play a role in making our communities a better place for children and families. By ensuring parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse as “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation.” Abuse includes child neglect, sexual and emotional abuse. Child neglect is the most wide and vague form of abuse. It can be summarized as failing to fulfill the child’s physical, emotional, medical or emotional needs. Sexual abuse is exposing children to any sexual situation, whether by directly involving them or performing sexual acts in their presence. Emotional abuse is continual acts that hurt the child mentally. Showing rejection, humiliating, terrorizing, isolating and corrupting are all forms of emotional abuse. There is a fine between abuse and discipline. Abuse is unpredictable, triggered by anger episodes and the intention to foster fear in the child.

Children do not speak up about their abuse because they are either afraid, do not know how to seek help or because their abuser is a family member or friend. SOS is dedicated to raising awareness, empowering and advocating for those affected by sexual, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.

SOS is dedicated to supporting families and reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect. Childhood should be filled with fond memories of fun and laughter.  But for too many children, it is filled with violence and betrayal. In 2016, SOS served 100s of children.  However, many more need to be reached.  SOS encourages you to report child abuse by calling 1-800-922-5330 because every child deserves a safe childhood filled with good memories.

The Child Visitation & Exchange Center, Child Advocacy Center and CASA of the Flint Hills are all programs under the SOS umbrella designed to empower children. If you know a child being abuse or suspect abuse, call SOS, 800-825-1295. Visit www.soskansas.com to learn more.