National Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Friday, members of the 36th Guam Legislature recognized National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

PNC’s Destiny Cruz has more…

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As April marks National Child Abuse Prevention month, several of Guam’s senators recognized those within Guam’s community who encompass this year’s theme, “Thriving Children and Families: Prevention with a Purpose,” with a resolution presentation.

Particularly, the resolution commends the numerous government agencies and community partners in their efforts to raise awareness and enduring commitment to preventing child abuse and neglect.

The Resolution cites four types of child abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse – which the recognized government agencies and community partners work to prevent – though the following do not include every agency or partner mentioned in the resolution: The Guam Police Department- Domestic Abuse Response Team and Victims Assistance Unit, the Department of Public Health and Social Services-Child Protective Services, and Burea of social services, Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, Victims Advocates Reaching Out, and more.

During the staggered reading aloud of the resolution, Senator Tony Ada shed light on the aim of this month- stating in part, “2022 National child abuse prevention month is aimed at bringing to light the abuse and neglect suffered by children and the need to provide strategic programs to prevent child abuse and to assist parents and their families affected by child mistreatment.”

According to Resolution 250-36, the Guam Police Department-Domestic Response Team’s reported 66 child abuse cases and one hundred five cases of criminal sexual conduct in fiscal year 2021 alone.

Furthermore, the Child Protective Services section, Division of children’s wellness -Bureau of Social Services Administration of the Department of Public Health and Social Services is the leading agency in receiving and investigating child abuse and neglect referrals. However, the Deputy Director of DPHSS social services commended the work and efforts of all agencies who work to prevent child abuse and neglect.

(DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, SOCIAL SERVICES)

(IN:00:13:06– “It’s just not limited to any one agency that may be the lead, but it’s multiple agencies coming together-of course, with the support of the legislature and this administration.”