A local committee has released findings in a report entitled the "Well-Being of the Capital Area Community."
The report shows Ingham County's number of reported cases of child abuse and neglect more than double those of Clinton and Eaton counties.
Committee members made up of local and state organizations say the increased investment in the problem leads to more cases being discovered.
The respite drop-off program at Lansing's Family Growth Center is one preventative measure aimed at decreasing the number of cases. It allows parents the opportunity to take a rest, relieve stress, and run errands, while their kids socialize with other children.
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- It is estimated that four million children a year are abused in some manner in the U.S.
- Less than half of all cases are reported.
- At least 2,000 children die each year as a result of abuse.
- Child abuse takes on many different forms. It can include physical abuse (broken bones, brain injury, bites, burns), sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and, most commonly, neglect.
If you suspect child abuse of any kind, you should:
- Take the child to a quiet, private area.
- Gently encourage the child to give you enough information to evaluate whether abuse may have occurred.
- Remain calm so as not to upset the child.
- If the child reveals the abuse, reassure him/her that you believe him/her, that he/she is right to tell you, and that he/she is not bad.
- Tell the child you are going to talk to persons who can help him/her.
- Return the child to the group (if appropriate).
- Record all information.
- Immediately report the suspected abuse to the proper local authorities. In most states, reporting suspected abuse is required by law.
- Call Childhelp's National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453.
Source: www.dhhs.gov, www.cdc.gov contributed to this report