Child Abuse Prevention Month
Child Abuse Prevention Month at ACCS
Highlights of Child Abuse Prevention month include the County Commissioners Proclamation, the raising of our Children’s Flag, Pinwheels for Prevention, and various educational and prevention pieces throughout the month. Athens County Children Services largest endeavor to honor Child Abuse Prevention Month is KIDFEST!
Every year children from around the county look forward to Kidfest. It is a day full of interactive and educational play presented by local community members, organizations, and businesses. A fun-filled event that teaches fire safety, traffic safety, and disability awareness among other themes, it is an enriching experience that not only teaches, but also helps foster relationships between children and local officials such as firemen and policemen.
What is child abuse?
Child abuse and neglect is a global problem of staggering proportions. In the United States alone more than 900,000 children suffer maltreatment each year according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than one-half of these children are neglected.
The different types of abuse are:
- Physical abuse - the misuse or maltreatment of another person in a physical manner such as punching, kicking, or biting a child.
- Sexual abuse - the rape, molestation, prostitution or incest of a child or using a child for the purpose of making sexually explicit pictures or videos.
- Emotional abuse - the verbal or psychological abuse of a child including threatening, name calling, ignoring, shaming unfairly, shouting, cursing, etc. "Mind games" are another form of emotional abuse.
Keeping children safe is a community responsibility, and prevention must be a community task. Every segment of society must be involved, including health and law enforcement professionals, schools, businesses, the media, government agencies, community and faith organizations, and especially parents themselves. Teachers and physicians need to recognize the symptoms of child abuse; parents need to ask for help in overcoming addictions or controlling violent behavior; communities must be willing to fund programs and services to protect children from abuse; and the media needs to raise public awareness of the availability of those programs and services.