By Jewel Poole

Young Moms Healthy Families Coordinator

Child Abuse Prevention Month is past for this year, but the work continues.

The Young Moms Healthy Families Program and Ozark Mountain Health Network strives year-around to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, and more importantly, to educate others about what they can do to prevent child maltreatment of all types.

Ttake a moment to remember the children in our community who suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of parents and trusted adults.

• Every week in Arkansas 146 children are victims of abuse or neglect.

• Child maltreatment means abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation or abandonment by the caretaker of the child (a parent, guardian, custodian, or foster parent).

• Child abuse is physical - shaking, hitting, beating, burning, or biting a child.

• Child abuse is emotional - constantly blaming or putting down a child; excessive yelling, shaming.

• Child abuse is sexual - incest, any sexual activity, exposure to sexual stimulation not appropriate for the child’s age.

• Child abuse is neglect - pattern of failure to provide for the child’s physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care; a pattern of failure to provide for a child’s emotional needs, such as affection, attention, and supervision.

Stopping child abuse takes the whole community, so take a pledge to speak up when you suspect a child being abused by calling 1-800-25-ABUSE or report to local law enforcement agency or the Division of Children and Family Services.