Abuse comes in many forms. It can manifest physically; such as subjecting someone to corporeal or sexual abuse. It can also occur in a mental and emotional sense; such as in the case of neglect or abandonment. Understanding that not all abuse will be glaringly obvious is a key component to recognizing the signs and taking action to stop it. Unexplained bruises and injuries are obvious signs, but there are plenty of ways to recognize abuse that don’t involve physical injury. Behavioral changes and irregularities are also indicators that a child is experiencing some sort of abuse and it’s the job of responsible adults to take notice and report it. Lauren’s Kids created the “Don’t Miss the Signs” campaign as a way to raise awareness and educate adults on how to recognize abuse as well as how to report it.
The goal of Lauren’s Kids and the Don’t Miss the Signs Campaign is to provide educational materials which teach adults how to recognize when a child needs help so they can report it to the proper authorities. Thousands of children across the state of Florida are subjected to physical, sexual or emotional abuse every year and most don’t receive the help they need. It’s a law in the state of Florida to report incidents of abuse and the Don’t Miss the Signs campaign is assisting people in learning the warning signs so they understand the proper way to report the situation.
By visiting www.floridaabusehotline.com or calling 1-800-96-ABUSE, anyone can confidentially report abuse and be an agent of change for a child in need. There have been high profile cases of abuse making headlines across the country and that helps raise awareness, but there is plenty more an individual can do in their community to ensure children are safe and happy. A child who has experienced abuse may display odd behavior, like sudden aggression or emotional withdrawal. They may miss school frequently or show up with strange bruising or marks. They may have an unexplained fear of strangers or situations and have trouble interacting with their peers. These are just some of the signs of child abuse and there are certainly many more. Understanding how to recognize the signs is a key part of getting a child help and it’s the goal of Lauren’s Kids to promote education and awareness of this serious issue. For more information about recognizing the signs of child abuse in Miami and elsewhere across the state of Florida, visit www.dontmissthesigns.org and view the many resources and posted materials. We can prevent child abuse, but we need your help.