Wear Blue Friday to help raise awareness of child abuse

Published: Apr. 2, 2018 at 4:49 PM CDT
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Attorney General Derek Schmidt asks Kansans to wear blue this Friday to raise awareness for child abuse prevention. He says you can watch for signs that may signal child abuse. Those include alcohol or drug abuse problems or parents or caregivers who lack social contact outside the family.

Children who are scared to go home, lash out in anger, or regularly get bruises or bumps may be abused or neglected. Abusers often avoid talking about their child's injuries. Children who are neglected often have bad hygiene, wear ill-fitting or dirty clothing and have untreated injuries or illnesses. They can appear underdeveloped and malnourished and are frequently late or missing from school.

“If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it is important to speak up,” said Sara Hortenstine, executive director of the Kansas Child Death Review Board. “Many people are reluctant to get involved, but consequences of staying silent can be devastating and sometimes fatal for the child.”

While physical abuse is the most visible form, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect also result in serious harm. Ignoring children’s needs, putting them in unsupervised or dangerous situations or creating a sense of being unwanted, are all forms of abuse.

To report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect, call the Kansas Protection Report Center at (800) 922-5330. In cases in which the child may be in imminent danger, call 911.