Community effort needed to prevent child abuse
By Mary Ann Abel
It is every child’s right to be loved and supported in a safe and caring home that is free of violence. The reality, however, is that child abuse occurs at every income level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
In our community nearly 7,000 calls were made to the Stark County Children Services Report Line in 2016. Of these, 2,892 cases required assistance or intervention. In Ohio last year there were 17,418 substantiated or indicated reports of child abuse and/or neglect — roughly one report every 30 minutes. Most victims of abuse and neglect are infants who cannot talk, or children too young to ask for help. In the U.S., a report of child abuse occurs every 10 seconds and our country spends over $124 billion annually on child abuse and neglect.
Although these numbers are daunting, child abuse is preventable. When we work together to educate, to advocate, and to protect and support our children and families we make a difference.