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Today's Family Magazine

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse or neglect affects more than three million children annually and causes the deaths of about four children every day.  Preventing and reporting child abuse is one of the most important things a community can do for its children. Child abuse can include the following:

Physical abuse – an act inflicted against a child.

Sexual abuse – any sexual activity involving children who are not of the age or developmental capacity to consent to such activity. This includes verbal sexual harassment, fondling of sexual organs, penile or digital penetration, pornography, and exposing a child to sexualized objects and/or materials.

Emotional abuse – chronic acts that interfere with the psychological development of a child.

Neglect – another form of child maltreatment and occurs when a parent or caregiver fails to act on behalf of a child. A child who does not receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, safety, or education may be neglected.

Abuse is preventable.  Reporting children who may be at risk doesn’t mean you’re getting someone in trouble.  You could be offering them a source of support and resources they desperately need.  

So if you suspect something isn’t quite right, or you’re just concerned a family needs help, pick up the phone and call one of the numbers below.  You can be a hero for a child by speaking up.

Lake County Department of Job and Family Services
440-350-4000 then press 1

Geauga County Job and Family Services

Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services
216-696-KIDS or send an email to [email protected]