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Delawareans urged to take action during Child Abuse Prevention Month

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. And the State is doing several things to tackle the issues.

Nationally, 1 in 10 children experience child sexual abuse, and 1 in 7 experience child abuse or neglect.

With those numbers in mind, the First State’s child abuse prevention campaign this month not only focuses on prevention - but intervention as well.

“We wanted to make sure that some of the ads that we prepared for Child Abuse Prevention Month, that they mentioned protective factors - so ways that we can support families, how we can help them keep their children safe; we talk about children being resilient,”  said Rosie Morales - the chief policy advisor for the Delaware Office of the Child Advocate; she’s also the chair of the Child Protection Accountability Commission (CPAC).

She notes that in Fiscal Year 2021 - there were 20,543 reports of child abuse in Delaware.

Morales says it’s imperative that communities get involved in reporting child abuse to try and get help to those being abused faster, “I think that what we see is that our training efforts - we do a lot of training on mandatory reporting in our community - I think our training efforts are really paying off. I think we’re doing a very good job of recognizing the signs, so we’re then able to intervene in the life of a child.”

Morales says they are also working to connect families to needed resources - such as employment, housing and food - all of which can help alleviate stressors that can lead to child abuse.

She notes that Delawareans can participate in Protecting Delaware’s Children webinar series or a live virtual Mandatory Reporting Training on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

The number to the Child Abuse and Neglect Report Line is 1-800-292-9582.

If people know of an abused or neglected child, Morales says they should reach out to Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, the Beau Biden Foundation , Nemours Kids Health, or the Office of the Child Advocate.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.