The message of April's Child Abuse Prevention Month is simple - It shouldn't hurt to be a child.
Unfortunately, there are many children out there who are hurting - physically and mentally - because some adult has chosen the path of abuse and neglect.
More than 900,000 children across the country were victims of child abuse and neglect last year. There were 100,000 reports in Ohio alone.
April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983. There was a time when animals had more rights than children.
The majority of child abuse cases stemmed from situations and conditions that can be preventable when community programs and systems are engaged and supportive, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support, and maternal mental health, for instance, is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children, according to the organization.
It takes a community to protect a child.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, don't hesitate to call the police of children services. Inaction may result in injury or even death. It is better to make the call instead of waiting. Children services or the police will investigate and take appropriate action if necessary.
Nobody likes to see a child crying. They should be happy.
But there are some who don't care about that.
Maybe they themselves were abused when they were children.
The caseworkers at children services have a difficult job. It can be mentally exhausting to deal with children who are hurt because of abuse and neglect.
Make their jobs easier by helping to report child abuse and neglect to authorities.
It shouldn't hurt to be a child.