It should never hurt to be a child

Researchers say child abuse appears to go in a cycle. Children who were abused as a child or witnessed violence between their parents tend to repeat the abuse or violence as an adult.

April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month and a good time to question why child abuse even exists. It shouldn’t hurt to be a child. Unfortunately, some children know no other life. The Columbiana County Job and Family Services Children Services Division is tasked with investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. Some of the reports are unfounded. Others require the parents to clean up the inside of the home. But there are serious cases in which a child has to be removed from the home.

There are children out there whose parents are drug addicts. Instead of paying attention to the children, these addicts are focused on feeding their addiction. There are babies born addicted to drugs because mom couldn’t stop using while pregnant. Then there are the children who can be the victim of physical and verbal abuse or witness domestic violence in the home.

These children, researchers say, face a lifetime of problems. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. Children in a home with a prevalence of domestic violence become physically, emotionally and psychologically abandoned. Mom is struggling to survive in the home, and dad is consumed with controlling everyone. Children coming from such a home learn violence is an effective way to resolve conflicts. These kids also have a higher risk for alcohol/drug abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and juvenile delinquency. Children who are hurt are hurt in more ways than the abuser knows.

That is why it is so important for the community to protect children. If you see or hear something, say something. For information visit the Columbiana County JFS at https://www.columbianacountyjfs.org. If you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation call the agency at 330-420-6600 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-through-Fridays. Emergency after hours referrals may be made by calling the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office at 330-424-5715. Every reporter has the right to ask to be anonymous and refuse to provide identifying information as a result. Children services receives tips all the time. Some don’t pan out, and others show more investigating is needed. Not saying something can lead to a child continuing to be hurt. Research shows the hurt can last a long time.

It shouldn’t hurt to be a child.

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