Supervisors Take Action to Address Child Abuse and Neglect
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks child abuse among America’s top public health crises.
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt a measure Thursday that names April 2017 as Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks child abuse among America’s top public health crises, estimating child maltreatment and related fatalities cost $124 billion a year.
The United States Children’s Bureau reports that beyond physical injuries, there are long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect that include cognitive delays, high-risk behaviors, depression, anxiety, poor physical health, alcohol and other drug abuse and adult criminality.
The 2015 annual report on child abuse and neglect from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF), Child Protective Services reported that 4,679 children suffered from substantiated maltreatment, or a rate of 3.6 children per 1,000 children in Wisconsin.
“As a public school teacher, I am often presented with the unfortunate task of reporting abuse and maltreatment our students endure at the hands of family members and relatives.
“I have encountered children in my own classroom who are underfed, physically abused, sexually abused, and emotionally neglected and traumatized. These abuses lead to cognitive delays that impact educational achievement, and lifelong distress that leads to depression, poor health, juvenile delinquency, and high- risk behaviors that impact their quality of life and perpetuate generational trauma.
“As community we have an obligation to protect our children, and although Milwaukee County already provides a plethora of services to our families through public agencies and various organizations, we need to go further to address child abuse and neglect.
“I’m proud that my colleagues on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors are willing to take a stand against child abuse and neglect, and take action to create better awareness of this problem. Together, we can help educate our community, and streamline access to available resources for our neighbors so that they can thrive and provide our children with the safe, healthy and nurturing environments that they deserve.”
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