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Prevent Abuse: Begin by recognizing the signs of abuse

Hidden in the shadows, a child is trapped in a world of abuse. What

she believes is normal terrifies her. Escape routes are blocked. The emotional walls she builds grow taller and thicken in time. It is

a trauma she will live with the rest of her life.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Acknowledging the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse children endure is essential in eradicating it. During the month, people are encouraged to increase awareness in their communities and recognize the importance of working together to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Recognizing the signs of abuse is the starting place. Following these signs can assist in determining whether a child needs help:

sudden change in behavior, unattended physical or medical problems, difficulty in concentrating, skittish and overly compliant mannerisms, avoidance of home and showing reluctance to be

around certain people, and/or disclosure of maltreatment. Types of abuse are usually discovered in combinations. In fact, Child Welfare Information Gateway cites: “A physically abused child, for example, is often emotionally abused as well, and a sexually abused child

also may be neglected.”

If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state’s child protective services or local law enforcement. Remember that child abuse often repeats itself generation to generation. What you do today, can help save children far into the future.

Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children

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