April is Child Abuse Prevention month. It's a time to focus on ways not only to protect children, but also to prevent abuse from ever occurring. This is your opportunity to make a difference in young lives.
Neglect is the most frequent form of child abuse. Yes, children die simply because they're put in situations where they are not supervised.
We all know that law enforcement cannot prevent all crime. We cannot expect the state's Child Protective Services to stop all child abuse and neglect. In fact, in the majority of the most tragic cases of child abuse - those in which a child died - Child Protective Services had no opportunity to impact the safety of the child at risk. Maybe it was a situation that people outside the family couldn't see. Possibly the child's parent didn't realize that their own action, or lack thereof, put their child's life at risk. We all have to recognize neglect and not walk away from it.
Parents are not alone. Information and support is available to make communities strong and safe. The Web site www.wvdhhr.org contains information on where to go to get help with parenting skills and what to do if you suspect a child is in danger. Contact your local Child Protective Services office or Women's Aid In Crisis to get more information. It's up to all of us to prevent child abuse. Call Women's Aid In Crisis at 304-636-8433 for more information.
Women's Aid in Crisis