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Protecting Children

The Mecklenburg County Child Abuse Awareness Coalition urges you to make a difference in the lives of our country's most precious resource, our children.

Key Points:

  • Neglect is the most common form of maltreatment, but it receives far less attention than other forms of abuse.
  • Children younger than 4 years are at greatest risk of severe injury or death.
  • Child abuse occurs in all ethnicities, cultures, education levels, and socioeconomic divisions of society.
  • The emotional pain and trauma suffered by children who are abused and neglected often troubles them throughout their lives 

Signs to watch for:

  • Children who are physically abused may:
    • Be nervous around adults.
    • Be watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen.
    • Have difficulty playing.
    • Act aggressively toward adults and other children.
    • Be unable to concentrate at school.
    • Suddenly underachieve – or overachieve – at school.
    • Find it difficult to trust other people and make friends.
    • Arrive at school too early or leave after the other children
  • Children who are sexually abused may:
    • Behave differently when the abuse starts.
    • Care less about their appearance or their health.
    • Talk or act sexually at too early an age.
    • Be secretive and stop talking about home life.
    • Start soiling themselves.
    • Be unable to sleep.
    • Suddenly find physical contact frightening.
  • Children who are neglected or emotionally abused may:
    • Have difficulty learning to talk.
    • Find it hard to develop close relationships.
    • Be overly friendly with strangers.
    • Be unable to play imaginatively.
    • Think badly of themselves.
    • Underachieve at school.

Remember: None of these signs proves that child maltreatment is present, since any of them may be noticeable at one time or another. But when they occur repeatedly or in combination with one another, the child may be suffering abuse.

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How Can You Help?

  • Volunteer
  • Lend a hand to a family or friend in need
  • Spend time with your family and children
  • Find ways to help families thrive
  • Donate to child abuse prevention programs
  • Be a nurturing parent
  • Get involved – advocate for services that help families
  • Ask for help  


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