Springfield, Ill. (WCIA)

Prevent Child Abuse Illinois is a small non profit serving the state of Illinois with a simple mission: to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing leadership through education, public awareness, support for community initiatives and advocacy. We’re working to help create an Illinois where all children grow up in healthy and safe homes and communities, free from abuse and neglect.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. We know child abuse is a serious issue, so Can you talk for a bit about some of our local and statewide statistics related to child abuse and neglect?”
In 2020, Illinois saw over 35,000 child abuse victims. This abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional. Of those, 426 were in Champaign County. These numbers were those reported and investigated. We’re sure that these numbers are low, because some instances are not reported.
In 2021, our central region of Illinois saw over 1,000 child victims and 62 child deaths as a result of abuse or neglect.t In addition, our central region had more substance exposed infants than any other region in the state.

Preventing abuse and neglect is about keeping children safe. Safe in their homes, schools, and communities. We know if a child experiences trauma in their childhood from abuse or neglect that child can experience life long consequences, including health, mental health, and substance abuse issues. So as adults, it is our responsibility to ensure safety for children. Some things parents can do:
Parents can learn about safe sleep environments. Safe sleep means babies sleep alone, on their backs, and in a safe crib.
Parents can learn about dangers related to shaking their baby, which can be deadly. Parents can make sure that those taking care of their baby understand the risks as well
Parents can ask for help when they’re feeling overwhelmed. We know that parenting is hard, and it’s appropriate and beneficial to rely on others for support. In our area, we have a Crisis Nursery to provide emergency care for children.
Parents can establish a support system prior to needing it. A list of family, friends or neighbors that they trust can be useful for when they are needing support.
Parents should leave children with a trusted, safe adult.
Parents can establish a loving, nurturing and positive environment at home. They can show and tell their children that they love them each day. Spending quality time, and giving that sense of security and belonging can go a long way to prevent abuse and neglect. For more parenting tips and resources, please visit our website: www.preventchildabuseillinois.org