Child Abuse & Neglect Cases on the Rise
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Colorful pinwheel gardens can be seen throughout North Carolina to draw attention to the issue.
“Every year, there are well over 100,000 reports of children who are abused or neglected in North Carolina. Last year the number was 131,000 children. Over 2,000 children in Forsyth County were the subject of a child abuse or neglect investigation,” says Amanda Carrick, deputy director with Exchange/SCAN, a non-profit child abuse prevention and neglect agency in Winston-Salem.
The North Carolina Senate recently passed "Kilah's Law", which will increase the penalty for child abuse. The law will double or triple current penalties for felony child abuse.
Carrick says, “The purpose of this month is to make people aware that anyone can become involved in child abuse prevention efforts, whether it is through volunteering or participating in community events.”
Exchange/SCAN and other local organizations are hosting “A Celebration for Children” festival Thursday, April 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.at Bolton Park in Winston-Salem.
“If you feel yourself losing your temper and you feel like you need a break it is OK to do that. It is OK to walk away and be in another room from your child rather than yell or scream and hit them and that is going to be a more effective means for calming down. Time Out Teddy is the mascot and he will be at our Celebration for Children. He has handouts, but he really represents taking that time out.”
The free event includes music, food, face painting, and other activities.