Child Abuse Awareness Month
April is National Child Awareness Month. Even though each state’s laws varies in their precise laws as to what constitutes child abuse, child abuse has four main forms: physical, emotional/mental, sexual, and neglect. It is important for adults to know and recognize the different types.
Physical abuse can be any act of violence towards a child that results in an injury to a child. This can include pinching, shaking, slapping, hitting (with the hand or an object), kicking, biting, and/or burning.
Emotional/mental abuse is the hardest to define and recognize in children. However, it generally can involve any verbal abuse, including name calling or insulting, shaming, harsh criticism, and derogatory comments.
Sexual abuse may include forcing a child to watch pornography, produce obscene pictures or pornography, forcing them to engage in sexual acts or have sex, fondling or inappropriately touching, or exposing themselves to a child.
Neglect is another form of child abuse that is hard to define and recognize. It can involve physical neglect, emotional neglect, medical neglect or education neglect. Deserting a child, failure to provide adequate food, shelter or clothing, failure to provide needed medical care, isolating a child from family or friends, failure to provide a public, private or appropriate home-based education are just a few examples of neglect.
Contact Georgia DFCS Child Protective Services at 1-855-GACHILD (1-855-422-4453) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to report child abuse and/or neglect. In case of immediate danger, call 911.