CDC: 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse in past year

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center is an organization that helps kids that are victims of abuse. It serves seven counties, with five of them being in the Pine Belt- including Lamar, Forrest, Marion, Perry and Covington counties.

Officials with Kids Hub say the center has served 245 kids just since January 1, 2021. They note it is extremely important to raise awareness about the crime.

“A lot of times people think that child abuse is something that doesn’t happen here, that it’s something that happens, you know, in bigger places, somewhere else but it definitely doesn’t happen here,” said DiDi Ellis, executive director, Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center. “So I think with April it gives us an opportunity to take just some time and bring awareness to the fact that it actually does happen right here in our backyard.”

There are some signs to look for that could indicate a child is being abused.

“Injury marks or burns that have a pattern...,” Ellis said. “Something that looks like it’s from a hand or maybe like a burn from a cigarette or marks from a belt... if the child has bloody, torn or stained underwear... and then injuries that are at different stages of healing... if they have bruises or welts or other injuries that can’t be explained... any medical or dental issues that a child has that get neglected and goes untreated.”

There are a few options for reporting child abuse.

You can call 1-800-222-8000, report it online through the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services website or use MDCPS’s mobile app, ‘Report Child Abuse.’

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