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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse is an epidemic that threatens Georgia's future. This month, the United States will observe National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Prevent Child Abuse McDuffie and McDuffie County Partners for Success would like to share some startling facts about the impact of child abuse.

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that adults who were abused as children:

  • are at increased risk for alcohol or drug dependency;

  • are 30 percent more likely to be arrested for violent crimes;

  • are 50 percent more likely to suffer from depression and post traumatic stress disorder;

  • are 30 percent more likely to suffer from some form of language or cognitive disability;

  • often use cigarette smoking, overeating and promiscuity to cope with the damaging effects of abuse.

    The same study found that child abuse is strongly linked to adult incidence of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, liver disease and overall poor health.

    Why should we all be so concerned?

    The rate of child abuse in Georgia has risen by more than 50 percent in the last five years to a rate of 19.9 children per thousand. Last year in Georgia, there were more than 85,000 reports of child abuse. In McDuffie County alone there were approximately 250 reports of child abuse and neglect. With daunting statistics like these and research that shows that child abuse negatively impacts developing children into adulthood, it is clear that we cannot guarantee a healthy future for Georgia without addressing the issue of child abuse!

    The state theme for Child Abuse Prevention Month 2005 is "Safe Children and Healthy Families are a Shared Responsibility." It means that if parents, volunteers, legislators, and citizens work together to support parents, value and protect children, we can successfully prevent child abuse and its damaging effects. For the past 20 years, Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Georgia has been working hard to meet the needs of Georgia's children and their families. As a chartered council of PCA Georgia Prevent Child Abuse McDuffie truly believes that if communities work together we can make Georgia's future brighter by giving its children a good start.

    "Pinwheels for Prevention" is PCA's annual event aimed at increasing the community's awareness about the problem of child abuse and neglect.

    Pinwheels are a children's toy that during the month of April will serve as a reminder that for many children in Georgia, childhood is not simple. A single pinwheel can spin many times in seven minutes. Seven minutes is the length of time that passes before another child in Georgia is abused or neglected.

    One pinwheel will be placed in the McDuffie County Court House lawn on April 12th for each of the children reported abused or neglected in our county last year. These pinwheels serve as a reminder that for too many children in Georgia, childhood isn't a time for simple pleasures. For more information on child abuse prevention or the April pinwheels for prevention activity planned in McDuffie County, call 595-3112 or PCA Georgia's statewide toll-free Helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN or visit

    Web posted on Wednesday, April 6, 2005

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