During the month of April, in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, people across the country come together to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention. Marine and Family Programs spearheads Child Abuse Prevention Month activities aboard MCAS Cherry Point. The theme adopted for 2017 is, “Children Thrive in Safe, Stable, Nurturing Homes”
Nationally over six million children come to the attention of child protective services each year according to a Children’s Bureau 2014 report. Four children die every day in the U.S. because of abuse. Although abuse and neglect can have lasting effects, with support, children can move beyond the harm they have suffered to lead healthy lives.
Do you suspect a child is being abused? Has a child told you that they have been harmed by someone? Are you an adult survivor of child abuse?
Signs of Abuse – Some signs of child abuse are more obvious than others. Here are some common signs of abuse:
- Has a child’s behavior changed? Do they experience fear, anxiety, depression, aggression or withdrawal?
- Is the child afraid to go home or to see certain individuals?
- Is a child showing overly sexualized behavior or using sexual language that is inappropriate for the child’s age?
- Have you noticed changes in a child’s sleeping patterns including frequent nightmares or difficulty falling asleep? Does the child look tired?
- Have you noticed changes in school performance and attendance, such as being unable to concentrate in class or frequent absences?
- Have a child’s eating habits changed leading to weight gain or loss?
- Do you see signs of visible unexplained injuries such as burns, bruises, or broken bones?
- Is a child using drugs or alcohol?
Safe Horizon – https://www.safehorizon.org/get-help/child-abuse/
Children’s Bureau 2014 Report – https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2014.pdf