News Flash

Health & Human Services Department

Posted on: April 23, 2018

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Jamestown Pinwheels for Prevention CeremonyPictured above, Pinwheels for Prevention ceremonies were held earlier this month in Jamestown, Dunkirk and Mayville in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Child Abuse Prevention Banner Photo

Pictured above, the County Executive, Family Court Judges, law enforcement agencies from around the county and several organizations came together to recognize the importance of bringing awareness to our community. Banners were hung in Jamestown and Dunkirk.



MAYVILLE, N.Y.: - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month which encourages strong, nurturing communities to be part of playing a vital role in preventing child abuse and neglect by promoting child and family well-being.

While child abuse and neglect is a significant public health problem, it is also a preventable one.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • In 2016, more than 1,750 children died in the United States from abuse and neglect.

  • According to child protective service agencies, about 676,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2016, although this number likely underestimates the true occurrence.

  • One in four children have experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives and 1 in 7 experienced abuse or neglect in the past year.

  • The total lifetime cost associated with just 1 year of confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect is $124 billion.

Leanna Luka-Conley, Chautauqua County Deputy Commissioner of Adult, Children, and Family Services said, “The whole community needs to be involved in prevention; it just can’t be the child welfare system.  People need to take an active role in each other to promote the development of healthy children and healthy communities.”

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) is a research study conducted by the American health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study has demonstrated an association of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) with health and social problems as an adult, which contribute to future costs.  Exposure to child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) cause toxic stress that can interrupt early brain development and harm the nervous and immune systems. Exposure to childhood adversity can increase a person’s risk for future violence, unhealthy behaviors, poor health and wellness, and limited life opportunities. This impact can be long-lasting and may continue across future generations.

What can an average person do to help prevent child abuse?  

Jessica McKeever, Safe Harbour Coordinator at the YWCA, said, “Nurture relationships with the children in your life – whether it is with your child, grandchild, a niece or nephew, family friend—can help prevent abuse. Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams. Helping a friend, neighbor, or relative with their children can help prevent abuse too. Giving parents a break from the overwhelming day to day demands of parenting can give them a chance to refresh and take care of themselves. You can also help by educating others on the red flags and warning signs of abuse. Talking to the schools in your community about educating their faculty and staff, as well as bringing prevention education to their students can help too. The more we discuss child abuse the more successful we will be in prevention measures. One of the biggest and best ways to help is to report suspected abuse or neglect.”

If you have any reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed please call the Child Abuse Hotline Number at 1-800-342-3720. If a child is in immediate danger please call 911 or your local law enforcement agency.


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