April 7, 2020
Regardless of the circumstances of their birth, every child deserves to be loved, cared for, and kept safe. Tragically, many children each year fall victim to abuse and neglect, robbing them of the innocence of childhood and exposing them to pervasive, detrimental effects that can have a lifelong impact on a child’s physical, psychological, and behavioral health and well-being.
This month, we recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. As schools close and families and communities adjust to a changing environment as a result of COVID-19, stressors are more prevalent as unemployment rates rise and children are urged to remain at home. We implore families to practice kindness, patience, and understanding. Raising a child is of paramount importance and, at times, can be the most challenging. We celebrate the courage it takes to be a parent or caregiver and commend the effort that that title brings.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office prioritizes protecting children from all forms of abuse. We are proud to support and work alongside our community partners to protect children and provide resources to families across Utah. The Utah Children’s Justice Center (CJC) Program, administered by the Attorney General’s Office, provides child-focused support and safe environments in which representatives from law enforcement, child protection, prosecution, mental health, medical services, and victim advocacy work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse cases. For more information, visit the CJC website.
This month, take the time to familiarize yourself with the signs of child neglect and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, including sudden changes in behavior and untreated physical or medical issues. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services outlines the definitions, signs, and symptoms of child abuse and neglect here. Educate yourself and your family on these coronavirus resources and tips for parents, children, and others as we all work together to endure the struggles that the pandemic brings to our communities. If you suspect child abuse call 1-855-323-3237.
For more information, visit the following resources: