PUNXSUTAWNEY— The month of April is perhaps best known as the beginning of spring, but for children across the country, it also marks something much more important — National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month came to be in the early 80s, when Congress began to recognize the devastating rate at which children were being abused and neglected.
The members of Congress requested that President Reagan issue a proclamation that would call upon not only the public but also government agencies to observe the month with programs, ceremonies and activities that would promote the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
"Child abuse and neglect have immediate and long-term consequences," said Patricia Berger, executive director with Western PA CARES.
"Prevention needs to be an everyday occurrence, and we, as adults, need to protect children," said Berger.
Western PA CARES for Kids is a child advocacy center located in Brookville.
You can help prevent child abuse by reporting your suspicions to your local Children and Youth office at 1-800-932-0313.
You can also find information on how to file a report by contacting Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453), which can be reached seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
For more information on Western PA CARES for Kids, contact Berger, at (814) 849-1904.