By Cheryl Posey
More than 64,000 Texas children were victims of child abuse last year. The month of April is child abuse prevention month, where this atrocity is brought to the forefront in the media so that more people will become aware of the signs that indicate a child is in danger. Although the month of April has come and gone, child abuse continues, and children will still benefit if everyone will learn the signs that a child is being abused, and listen to what children are saying.
A media campaign that is still in process now has its own Facebook page called 4MyKid that shares fun and helpful ideas for families. The Help and Hope campaign has distributed more than 500,000 copies of the 2013 Child Abuse Prevention Calendar and the calendar can still be downloaded from HelpandHope.org. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to connect people to services and resources in their communities that will reduce the incidence of child abuse.
Although the goal of the campaign is to prevent child abuse, it still occurs. If you suspect abuse, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) urges you to report your suspicions to the Texas Abuse and Neglect hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or TxAbuseHotline.org.
What is child abuse?
Physical abuse includes actions such as beating, burning or punching. Emotional abuse may involve criticizing, insulting, rejecting or withholding love. Sexual abuse includes rape, touching or fondling, or involving a child in pornography. Neglect includes failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, including physical, medical or emotional, or leaving a young child home alone.
See statistics on page 2.