April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and a local advocacy group is hoping to bring attention to the issue in Starke County.
Members of the local group Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) say they’re hosting a candlelight vigil at the end of April to help provide information to community members about the issue.
Child abuse can include physical, emotional, sexual mistreatment, and even neglect.
CADA Executive Director Wendy Elam says it’s important to report child abuse if you suspect it.
“They could be withdrawn, they could also start doing terribly in school, there are so many signs,” says Elam.
Criminal activity could also be a sign of child abuse, according to Elam.
CADA members will be attending a preschool fair to help provide information to parents on child abuse. Joblessness and other financial stress in parents is considered a major contributor in child abuse cases.
The first Child Abuse Prevention Month was celebrated in 1983. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recognizing the issue in April helps promote the social well being of families.
Elam says there are numbers community members and educators can call to help report the problem.
“If you do suspect child abuse, you know, you really want to give that child every chance,” says Elam.
CADA will host its third annual candlelight vigil at the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center on April 28th.