April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to celebrate the good things our communities do to promote healthy child development, support families and help prevent child abuse and neglect.
The first step in helping abused children is learning to recognize the symptoms of child abuse. Although child abuse is divided into four types — physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional maltreatment — the types are more typically found in combination than alone. A physically abused child for example is often emotionally maltreated as well, and a sexually abused child may be also neglected. Any child at any age may experience any of the types of child abuse.
If you believe you have information related to a child being abused or neglected, it is important to report the information immediately. You can do this anonymously online or over the phone through the Department of Children and Families or calling the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office at 941-639-0013.
We all play a role in healthy child development. We encourage everyone to take action to help families in your community. Simple actions can make a big difference in a child’s life–and a parent’s as well.
For more information, please visit www.PreventChildAbuseFL.org.