Local agencies observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month


JACKSON, Tenn. (WNBJ) - Experts say many incidents of child abuse have gone unreported during the pandemic, but many fear child abuse is happening more frequently due to pandemic-related challenges, such as social isolation, financial hardship, emotional distress. These stressors can significantly increase the risk of family violence, including child abuse.


With April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month, many dedicate this time to recognizing the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. 39 News spoke to two organizations in the hub city about their efforts toward this cause.


“Four children a day die annually as a result of child abuse,” said Sherry Cole, the Madison County Director of Services with the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.


Sherry Cole, the Madison County Director of Services with the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse gives us some statistics on abuse.


“One and four girls and one and six boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. 90 percent of the time it’s somebody that the child knows and usually someone that the child loves and trusts. Most people are not aware of the statistics and how that affects everybody,” said Cole.


The Carl Perkins Center wants the community to know they can help when it comes to preventing child abuse.


“We try to educate the community on what I called the three R’s so recognize, report, and respond. That’s the three important things that the community needs to know,” said Cole.


Amanda Johnson with the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department wants to stress do not suffer in silence.


“We do ask that if you need help reach out. You can call the help department, but report if you have to,” said Amanda Johnson, a Public Health Educator with the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.


If you need help with a child abuse case you are urged to contact the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department and the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.


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