April 20, 2013

Help take action against child abuse

This month, I thought it would be a good idea to share some concerning information about child abuse, an important problem that exists in our communities.

Child abuse occurs when a parent or other adult causes serious physical, sexual or emotional harm to a child, or neglects or abandons them. More than 1 million children are abused every year in this country, and these are only the reported incidents. Sadly, most children know their abusers, and the abuse usually occurs in the home, making it tough for the child to speak up. It can also occur when infants are shaken, resulting in brain damage or death if the abuse is not detected in time.

Abusers come from all walks of life and, unfortunately, there is no classic profile. Often, the abuser was abused as a child themselves. 

The good news is that while anyone with access to a child can mistreat them, the vast majority of people don’t.

How can you suspect abuse may be going on, though? Certainly watch for bruises that keep occurring, recurrent abdominal pain or headaches that have no clear cause. Other signs include a child who becomes withdrawn, fearful, sad, develops low self-esteem or who starts to bully others. A child who has nightmares, trouble sleeping, becomes disruptive and acts out in class or whose grades drop unexpectedly should raise concerns. If a child does not seek comfort from a parent or other caregiver, that, too, is a concerning sign. While these signs may mean other things, you need to at least consider that abuse is a possibility.

If you suspect a child is being abused, take action. Anyone can and should call the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment center at 1 (800) 342-3720 to report concerns. If you are a child who is being physically or emotionally hurt or harmed in a way that frightens you, talk to someone you trust — whether it is a parent, relative, teacher or family friend.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time