April 9, 2015 --
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The theme here on base for the event is “Children deserve to be protected.”
Brenda Ray, Prevention and Education specialist, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, said her goal is to prevent child abuse by arming families with information and support as well as dispelling myths surrounding child abuse.
According to Ray, myths surrounding child abuse are a critical issue, often causing cases to be unnoticed. A major misconception is child abuse is most often perpetrated by strangers.
“People will say ‘stranger danger,’ when in fact, more often than not child abuse is committed by someone the child depends on for care or knows,” she said.
In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control website, 80.3 percent of child abusers are parents.
She went on to say another myth is the type of abuse children endure most often is physical or sexual abuse. Ray explained, in reality, the most common abuse children suffer is neglect.
“Neglect is most common because it is simply inaction,” she said. “It takes no effort to do nothing.”
CDC statistics confirm neglect accounts for 78 percent of child abuse cases.
Those two statistics combined is the sad reality that most child abuse cases involve children failing to receive the basic necessities of life from their parents or someone they know. Food, shelter, clothing and medical care are just a few examples of basic care those children fail to receive.
Other forms of mal treatment include physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Ray explained children who endure neglect, physical or sexual abuse almost always experience emotional abuse as well.
“It is our obligation and this installation’s goal to prevent any instances of child abuse in our community,” Ray said. “Our ‘children deserve to be protected’ and we are going to make every effort to ensure that happens.”
For additional information or if anyone suspects child abuse or neglect, call the Family Advocacy Program at 229-639-5252.