Child Abuse Prevention Month 2016
BATON ROUGE- Executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, Amanda Brunson, stopped by News 2 at 4 on Monday to talk about Child Abuse Prevention Month.
A press conference was held at the State Capitol to raise awareness of child abuse by planting a pinwheel garden.
According to Brunson, there were over 12,000 Louisiana children who were victims of maltreatment.
Brunson, said that everyone has a role to play in preventing child abuse.
Brunson said that it was “wonderful” to have the support of Gov. John Bel Edwards and Mrs. Edwards at the event.
“The elected officials who came out today either experience directly or hear stories from their constituents about awful cases of child abuse, so they know how important prevention is,” she said.
“How our children are treated now will affect how they live and work for the rest of their lives.”
Brunson said that children need to be made a top priority.
“Just like when you’re building a house, children need a strong foundation in their early years. A weak foundation increases the odds of difficulties later,” she said.
Brunson said that providing a stable, nurturing home helps a child to handle stress that eventually occurs in life.
“When a child has adverse experiences in childhood, such as abuse or neglect, it’s called toxic stress, and it can disrupt a child’s developing brain architecture,” she said.
According to Brunson, a study done by Doctor Vincent Felitti with the Centers for Disease Control revealed that toxic stress, or adverse childhood experiences were linked to helath and social issues such as depression, drug use, alcoholism, along with heart, liver, and lung disease.
“Adults who suffered from toxic stress as children tend to miss more work days and have more health and social problems than those who didn’t. So not only should child abuse and neglect be prevented for the health and well-being of today’s children, but also for the adults they will become,” she said.
Brunson said that child prevention can come in simple forms such as telling children you love them and that they are special.
“When you have a relative or neighbor who is a stressed-out parent, offer to watch their kids for a few hours so they can take some time for themselves. Little things we do every day to make children a priority ensure their safety and protect them from potential harm,” she said.
Readers can visit, www.pcal.org, or call the PCA office at (225) 925-9520 or call KIDLINE at 1-800-CHILDREN, which is 1-800-244-5373.