Polk County declares April as Child Abuse Awareness Month

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Community unites to combat child abuse and neglect 

COLUMBUS—At its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 15, the Polk County Board of Commissioners declared April as Child Abuse Awareness Month.

“We again ask you to proclaim April as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Polk County,” said Kim Wilson, Senior Program Manager of Polk County Health and Human Services. “Whereas our children are our most valuable resources and will shape the future of Polk county, and whereas every child deserves to be loved, cared for, secure and safe, it is the responsibility of our communities to make sure every child’s right to a safe, happy and healthy environment.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

She went on to state that in 2023, 357 reports were made to the Polk County Child Protective Services.

Wilson explained that “Child abuse and neglect not only cause immediate harm to children that can have long-term psychological, emotional and physical effects that can have lifelong consequences for victims of abuse and can increase the likelihood of criminal behaviors, substance abuse, health problems and risky behavior.”

According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 7,392 victims of child abuse or neglect in North Carolina in 2017. Of these children, 52.1% were neglected, 24.5% were physically abused and 19.5% were sexually abused

The month of recognition is intended to promote programs and activities that benefit children and their families, prevent child abuse and neglect and strengthen the community. A banner currently at Stearns Park brings attention to the cause.

The motion to declare April as Child Abuse Awareness Month passed unanimously.