City Proclaims April Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Midvale City is spreading the message that everyone can help contribute to the prevention of child abuse. The Mayor and City Council proclaimed April 2018 as Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Midvale City Council meeting on March 27, 2018. “April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Mayor Robert Hale. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect.”
Every child deserves the right to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. However, this is not the case for many children. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. Often, children and teens are abused and neglected by the people who are closest to them, including family.
Through their perpetrators, child abuse victims suffer many forms of abuse. Physical injuries such as severe bruises, burns, strangulation and human bites are inflicted. Constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, rejecting and withholding love, affection, support and/or guidance are some examples of emotional abuse. Neglect is caused by the failure to provide a child with the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education. Finally, sexual abuse includes rape, incest, molestation or pornography.
Everyone can contribute to the prevention of child abuse. The Children’s Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides the following information about getting involved to strengthen your community and families.
• Meet and greet your neighbors
• Go to a parent meeting at your child’s school
• Participate in an activity at your local library or community center
• Set up a playgroup in your community at homes or a local park. Consider inviting people who may not have children at home, like local seniors.
• Organize a community babysitting co-op
• Volunteer at your child’s school
• Encourage local service providers to produce a directory of available services that are easy to find in the community
• Organize a community event
• Run for an office in the Parent Teacher Student Association at your child’s schoolWhile child abuse and neglect is a significant public health problem, it is also a preventable one. Free courses that deliver comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention education are now available online. The courses are mandated by a Utah law for all Utah school personnel, including teachers, administrators, staff and any others working with children. Parents and guardians are encouraged to access these courses online at pcau.enspark.com.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Unified Police Department at 801-743-7000 or the Division of Child and Family Services at 1-855-323-3237. Visit https://pcautah.org/ for more information. In addition, the SafeUT Crisis Text and Tip Line is a statewide service that provides real-time crisis intervention to youth through texting and a confidential tip program – right from your smartphone. Licensed clinicians in the 24/7 CrisisLine call center respond to all incoming chats, texts, and calls. The number is 1-800-273-8255. The SafeUT App is available for both Apple and Android devices.