Don’t look away

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In 1983, The United States Congress declared April to be recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse can be committed in many horrific forms, be it physical, emotional or sexual. Some abuse is obvious. Unfortunately much of it goes unnoticed, leaving the victim to suffer alone. The following facts come from the website, which is the website for the Tennyson Center for Children in Denver:

• A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds

• More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.

• Approximately 80 percent of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4.

• It is estimated that 50 to 60 percent of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.

• More than 90 percent of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way.

• Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.

• About 30 percent of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.

• About 80 percent of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.

• 14 percent of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children.

• 36 percent of all women in prison were abused as children.

• Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30 percent more likely to commit violent crime.

Take the time to learn the signs of child abuse. If you suspect a child is being abused, the Virginia Department of Social Services maintains a Child Protective Services Hotline 24 hours a day at 800-552-7096.

Don’t look the other way. The life of a child may depend on it.