It takes us all to fight child abuse/neglect

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2005

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month both nationally and in the State of Alabama and this year we recognize the 22nd anniversary of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

According to Child Protect, every day thousands of children are mistreated, and on an average, three children die each day as a result of abuse and neglect. As reported by the National Data Analysis, Child Welfare League of America, as recently as the year 2001, Alabama had 24 children die as the result of child abuse.

Abused or neglected children often suffer not only from the physical pain, but from emotional problems as well. Statistics show that abused or neglected children have a higher risk for illicit drug use, teen pregnancy, low school grades, violent crime and incarceration.

With this month, many believe if there is awareness of the abuse or neglect, the public will take a greater interest. You, as a citizen, have a moral and legal right to report what you believe is abuse or neglect.

Why wait until it is too late to help a child, when the key is prevention of child abuse and neglect in the first place?

We must work as a community to connect families to needed resources and ensure healthy development for children.

Our hospitals, schools and community agencies can not be viewed as

the sole driving force in implementing programs to protect our children.

So remember this month that child abuse is the most horrible, cowardly act anyone can do to a child and we, as a community must become involved. We all have a God-given responsibility to our children. This month is the time to remember that responsibility and get involved.