Children are at risk in our community!
The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and teli is devoted to creating awareness of the impact of this enormous societal problem. Among the many sobering facts is that in 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that 3.5 million children were investigated as potential victims of abuse and neglect in the US. Of those 3.5 million, 20 % or 700,000 cases, were confirmed.
In Pennsylvania over 29,000 reports of suspected maltreatment occurred in 2014 representing a significant increase from the previous year; more than any previous year on record. Sadly, there were 30 fatalities attributed to the maltreatment and abuse of these children.
Perpetrators are usually known to their victims and children are most at risk for abuse in their own home by their primary caretakers. Child abuse knows no boundaries: It occurs across race and all socioeconomic levels. No group is immune to child maltreatment.
Child Abuse takes many forms with long lasting effects
Children can suffer from a number of different kinds of abuse. The abuse can range from physical to emotional, to neglect and, sexual and exploitation (which includes trafficking, prostitution and internet corruption of children).
Neglect is the most frequently reported form of maltreatment in the United States representing approximately 80% of confirmed cases. This includes children not receiving their basic needs (food, shelter, appropriate clothing for the weather), not being supervised, missed medical and dental appointments and truancy from school.
Abuse can occur even prior to a child’s birth when there is exposure to illicit drugs, alcohol, and prescription medications due to a mother’s addiction. The long term impact on a child’s formative years can result in significant developmental delays and an inability to achieve success in school and in adulthood.
Creating Awareness to save a child!
In Pennsylvania, there are organizations mandated by law to report suspected child maltreatment, but child abuse is everyone’s issue. teli strongly encourages everyone to make a report to the Pennsylvania ChildLine (1-800-932-0313) if abuse is suspected; Calls taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be made anonymously. 911 should be called if there is an immediate danger to a child.
A helpless child is depending on you to make a difference.. don’t let child abuse go unreported.. it could be a matter of life or death.