April is National Child Abuse Awareness month and Clovis Police say anyone can help prevent abuse by educating, advocating, and donating.
According to Clovis Police 1 in 3 girls, and 1 in 6 boys will be abused sexually by the time they are 18.
Shannon Griffith is a Corporal with Clovis Police. She says they work with non-profits to advocate and educate families.
“Just to see the prevention aspect on that I think that is huge,” says Griffith. “Where people are actually recognizing that these things do exist and sometimes these scars are things we don’t see with the emotional and mental abuse.”
Griffith says abuse comes in many forms and their goal is to educate all to help families know the signs and symptoms.
“It is a difficult topic especially if you recognize it in your neighbors or your family,” says Griffith. “A lot of people feel maybe lost or hopeless on what to do. They may recognize the signs but they are not sure what steps to take.”
Family Healing Center is a non-profit in Fresno which focuses on victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and those who have witnessed abuse.
They have many resources for child victims like therapy or counseling and work on healing families.
Josie Roderick is a Child Forensic Interviewer with Family Healing Center. She says child abuse cases nationwide is daunting.
“It is estimated that over seven hundred thousand children in America are abused annually,” says Roderick.
Roderick says the signs and symptoms of child abuse may vary but communicating with the child to get to the root of the problem is key.
“They may appear a little withdrawn or just a sudden change of behavior that is not typical,” says Roderick.
For more information on child abuse and ways to report it go to the Fresno Council on Child Abuse Prevention’s website here: https://fccapblog.wordpress.com/donate/april-is-child-abuse-prevention-month-and-sexual-assault-awareness-month/?fbclid=IwAR3JSWQ_7ZrR-AKqXN0hn6_3lZ-ajj7fnRW1pJ5gMLABX0D2dDK_ifPN_cw