April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Apr 1, 2016

Advocates for children say Child Abuse Prevention Month should be an opportunity for everyone to learn more about the problem - so that they can help combat it.

Elaine Duensing is with Prevent Child Abuse Illinois. She says it's up to everyone to help protect those who can't protect themselves - and sometimes it's just by offering a little help.
 
"We can offer support to a parent who is under stress, we can help with babysitting, or lend a listening ear. We can provide opportunities for parents and children to spend time together."
 
Illinois' Child Abuse Hotline - 1-800-25-ABUSE - receives more than 200-thousand calls every year. Experts say those calls are anonymous, and staffed by licensed social workers.

Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds says he's seen all kinds of abuse come through his office - and believes it's up to everyone to help break the cycle.
 
"We can't stop child abuse and neglect if we pretend that it doesn't exist, if we ignore it, if we think 'We'll let the police worry about it, we'll let the prosecutors worry about it.' We have to address it as a community."

Advocates say it's up to everyone to recognize the signs of abuse, and make the call to help protect children.