April has been designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a sober reminder, even as the springtime weather brings optimism and good cheer, that there are those helpless souls who are trapped in situations beyond comprehension: under the boot of physical, mental, verbal, or psychological abuse. While it is easy to turn away and say, “Well, it’s not my kid,” we must be our neighbors’ keepers and be aware of possible abuses to minors and those who cannot defend themselves. Whether by loved ones, trusted authority figures, or strangers, child abuse cannot be tolerated.
Children in every community - yes, yours too – can be victims of petty or traumatic abuse. We need not seek it out, but we must act if we find it. Since the first piece of child protection legislation in 1974, we have learned a great deal about both the effects and prevention of this scourge. Prevention of child abuse must be our goal.