• 48°

Prevention is an every day occurrence

No child should ever be abused or neglected. No kid should have to endure the pain of physical, mental or sexual abuse. These seem like obvious statements, but the sad reality is it happens every day.

Children are hit. They are made to feel worthless. They are ignored and neglected. They are subjected to sexual trauma that will impact their lives forever. These things happen regularly, behind closed doors, right here in our community.

It’s heartbreaking, and it’s wrong.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to protect a child. On Thursday, that protection was visible in blue, as the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children and other local organizations hosted the annual Children’s Parade and Children’s Festival.

With a mission of “painting the town blue,” the event served the dual purpose of providing an educational, fun time for local children and raising awareness about child abuse prevention in Beaufort County.

While April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the effort to prevent child abuse is far from restricted to any particular month. It’s a constant, 24/7, 365 days-per-year effort on the part of countless child advocates in every profession under the sun. Every person in our society has a role to play in preventing child abuse, and it starts with learning the signs, and having the courage to say something.

To learn more about abuse and what it looks like, visit www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can or www.preventchildabusenc.org. While bruises and black eyes can be warning signs, the signs of emotional and sexual abuse may be harder to recognize. Take the time to learn what to look for.

To report suspected child abuse, call your local law enforcement agency or Child Protective Services at 252-975-5500.