Sheriff’s office to hold first child abuse awareness day

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is planning a child abuse awareness day on April 13 in honor of child abuse awareness month. The event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Polk County Middle School Recreation Center.

The sheriff’s office is seeking sponsors for its first Polk County awareness day.

Organizers say the goal is to educate Polk’s communities in prevention of child abuse, detection of child abuse and resources that support families in Polk’s communities.

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Individuals or businesses are encouraged to participate as sponsors, which will be advertised on the backs of T-shirts that will be sold to raise money for education and prevention materials.

A report of child abuse is made in the United States every 10 seconds with more than five children who die every day as a result of child abuse.

Neglect makes up 78.3 percent of child abuse with physical abuse at 17.6 percent, sexual abuse at 9.2 percent, psychological maltreatment at 8.1 percent, medical neglect at 2.4 percent and other types of child abuse making up 10.3 percent, according to statistics provided by the sheriff’s office.

About 80 percent of children who die from abuse are under 4-years of age and it is estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates.

More than 90 percent of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way with child abuse occurring at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all regions and at all levels of education.

Approximately 30 percent of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children.

The annual estimated cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 was $124 billion.

Other national statistics on child abuse include that 14 percent of all men in prison were abused as children; 36 percent of all women in prison were abused as children; abused children are 25 percent more likely to experience teen pregnancy; children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as an adult and 30 percent more likely to commit violent crimes.

Sponsors for the child abuse awareness day are asked to make a $100 donation to the sheriff’s office no later than March 22.

Donations can be mailed to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Child Abuse Awareness, P.O. Box 69, Columbus, N.C. 28722.