As Dayton Children’s mommy safety blogger, I tend to focus more on unintentional injuries. However, there is a great need to call attention to intentional injuries as well – since many of the children affected by violence may not have a voice themselves. Therefore, we’ve asked State Senator Shannon Jones to share her thoughts on child abuse. As a voice for children at the Statehouse, she has a call to action for all Ohioans.
Committing to Our Children
Guest Blogger: State Senator Shannon Jones, Springboro
In today’s fast-paced world it’s easy to become preoccupied, stressed and oblivious to our surroundings. No matter how fast the world is moving, it’s critical we slow down and pay attention to the warning signs that a child may be in danger.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. By raising awareness and turning influence into action we can deliver a powerful message about the importance of protecting children and supporting families.
In 2011, the United States Children’s Bureau estimated that 30,601 children were victims of child abuse in Ohio alone with a shocking 681,000 children nationwide. Child abuse isn’t limited to physical harm, it can also include physical neglect, sexual abuse and emotional mistreatment. Many children are subject to more than one form of abuse that occurs in a pattern over time.
As we all know, being a parent isn’t always easy. Sometimes we see the signs of stress and aren’t sure how to respond. If you know a parent who appears to be stressed or overwhelmed, consider how you can be supportive and offer a helping hand. Anything you do to support parents can help reduce the stress that often leads to abuse and neglect.
It’s common to feel helpless after learning a child has been abused or neglected. If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed, call 855-O-H-CHILD (855-642-4453) to be linked directly with your local child welfare or law enforcement office. For more information about child abuse prevention visit the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund at jfs.ohio.gov.
All Ohioans share a responsibility in keeping children safe in our community, even if they’re not our own. It takes the vigilance and commitment of everyone to keep our children free from abuse and neglect.