Child Abuse Awareness Month: What Are the Signs?

Photo: (Photo : Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels)

April marks the beginning of Child Abuse Awareness Month.  Family Services of Chemung County, Inc. authorities shared some disturbing statistics as well as important approaches you can help deter child violence.

Every year, almost 700,000 children in the United States are raped, as per the National Children's Alliance. In 2008, New York State passed the Safe Harbour for Abused Children Act, making it the first county in the nation to recognize sexually exploited children as victims of abuse rather than perpetrators.

Child violence continues to be exacerbated by the internet as well as mobile apps. One in every three minors in the United States is expected to play video games with strangers. Sexual abuse can take many forms, from a sexual encounter in return for a warm place to spend the night to traffickers utilizing social media or gaming platforms to entice kids and teens into "the life" with hollow claims, where they may be subjected to repetitive assaults.

READ: Child Punishment on TikTok Growing Rampant Online, Expert Says It's Not Ok

Camp Zama Girl Scouts plant blue pinwheels

On April 6, cadets from Camp Zama Girl Scouts placed 32 pinwheels in the style of an awareness ribbon outside the installation's front entrance.

The cadets have placed their pinwheels near the roundabout that automobiles pass through after reaching the installation's Gate One. The pinwheels are more than two feet tall and brightly colored, with messages that say "Give hope to a child" as well as a blue awareness ribbon.

One of four cadets from Troop 600 who participated in the planting, Kaitlyn Dodson had this to say: "I think it's important that people know about child abuse and what some kids are going through, and this is a perfect way to bring awareness to it."

The pinwheels have been provided by Darren Powell, a Family Advocacy Program representative with Army Community Service, and Mara Brown, a victim activist coordinator with FAP, who assisted the cadets in placing them on the lawn.

Child abuse awareness and prevention is a year-round concern for FAP, according to Powell, but it is extremely crucial to bring attention to the issue since April is Military Child Month.

ALSO READ: Secret Army of Brave Nuns Fight Child Trafficking

What is child abuse?

According to the Department of Defense, child abuse and neglect are defined as, "any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical injury or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation; or, an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm." 

READ MORE: Child Abuse Awareness Month: What Are The Risk Factors And Long-Term Effects Of Abuse In Children?

What are the signs of child abuse?

When a child is abused or overlooked he or she may feel guilty, embarrassed, or even confused. If the person abusing the child is a parent, friend, or other members of the family, the victim may be scared to tell someone. During Child Abuse Awareness Month, let us know about the signs and symptoms of child abuse and sexual exploitation.

  • Has not given aid for medical or physical issues that have been brought to light by the parents.
  • Manifests abrupt behavioral changes or academic performance.
  • Has cognitive or concentration difficulties that can not be traced back to a particular psychological or even a physical trigger
  • Adult supervision appears to be absent at all times.
  • Is always on the lookout, as if expecting anything terrible to occur.
  • When it is time to come home from a playdate, class, or any outdoor activity, they appear afraid of their parents or caregiver and complain or cry.
  • Has wounds, injuries, cuts, broken bones, or black eyes that cannot be explained
  • Their animals or pets are abused.
  • After an absence from schooling, he or she has other marks or bruises

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