Commentary

April 5, 2013

“Protecting Children: It’s Everyone’s Job”

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

Every 10 seconds a case of child abuse is reported in the United States. That adds up to 3 million cases of child abuse each year.

Is child abuse an issue in Fort Irwin? Yes.

In 2012, Fort Irwin had 38 cases of substantiated child abuse. Army-wide, there were 3,853 substantiated cases of child abuse reported. For a small community, such as Fort Irwin, these are big numbers. Each reported case occurred on post.

Child Abuse Awareness Month is held each year in April to increase awareness about the importance of preventing all types of child abuse and neglect. It also serves as a time to remember those who have suffered, as well as a reminder to continue the important work to help kids and Families stay safe and strong.

What is Child Abuse?

According to the California Legislature the following definitions apply to abuse and neglect: Any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a child other than by accidental means by those responsible for the child’s care, custody, and control. Discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner, shall not be construed to be abuse. Neglect is the failure to provide the child the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child’s well-being by those responsible for their care, custody, and control.

“Protecting Children: It’s Everyone’s Job” is the campaign theme for 2013. The Family Advocacy Program, here, provides child abuse prevention resources, such as parenting classes and couples communication opportunities. Don’t wait for the problem of child abuse to destroy a Family. Recognize signs of distress and abusive actions.

If you know Army Families, who are under the kind of stress that may turn to child abuse, lend a hand. Lighten the load. Guide that Family to the help and support that you know is available. Make a commitment to child abuse prevention. We have all seen the negative effects of abuse. It is never right to be blind to it. Report your concerns to FAP now! If you have any questions concerning child abuse, contact the Family Advocacy Program at 380-4474/4470 or the Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-827-8724. To report child abuse call the Fort Irwin police at 380-4444.

Child abuse information booths will be available from 10 a.m. to noon on April 15 at the Commissary and April 24 at the Thrift Store. The FAP office will also conduct a car seat safety class at Sandy Basin Annex from 1 to 3 p.m., April 24.




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