What can you do?

Focus on prevention.

Reach out: support kids and parents to help reduce stress that leads to abuse/ neglect.

•Help a parent you know: volunteer to run errands, baby sit, listen.

•Talk to neighbors about watching out for each other’s kids.

•Donate your used clothing, furniture and toys to families in need.

Raise the issue: by educating yourself and others about neglect/abuse.

•Copy information on neglect/abuse and post at work, church, library, laundromat, beauty parlor, school. See PCA America Community Resources for materials.

•Talk to your school, library or church about presentations and support programs for parents and how you can help.

Remember the risk factors: child abuse occurs in all classes, but is greater where parents:

•Have economic, housing, or personal problems;

•Are isolated from family or community; •Have difficulty with anger or stress; •Have physical or mental health problems;

•Abuse alcohol or drugs; •Appear uninterested in welfare of their children;

Recognize warning signs: behavior may signal abuse/neglect before physical changes appear:

•Nervousness, aggression, frequent sleepiness;

•Sudden changes in personality or activity level;

•Unnatural interest in sex; •Frequent unexplained bruises or injuries;

•Poor hygiene, low self-esteem;

Report suspected abuse or neglect if you have reason to believe it is occurring.

Call the Department of Human Resources in Oneonta at (205) 274-5200. You may remain anonymous when you make the call.