Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Tennessee. The goal is to raise awareness of the problem and to discuss ways to prevent it.
Readers of this paper are certainly aware of the problem. Not a day goes by without at least one mention of a case of child abuse or neglect in these pages. It’s a dreadful fact of life that there are some in our community who put children at grave risk of injury as a result of neglect or mistreatment.
State officials investigated more than 60,000 reports of child abuse last year alone. This mistreatment includes physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse or psychological harm. Telltale signs of child abuse often include malnutrition, poor hygiene and unexplained bruises.
It is the duty of all Tennesseans to report such abuse when they witness it. In fact, state law requires anyone with suspicions of child abuse to report it immediately to the state Department of Children’s Services or to local law enforcement officials.
You can report child abuse anytime of the day or night by calling Tennessee’s child abuse hotline at 1-877-237-0004.