Fatalities down but child abuse still big problem

By: Lizz Marrs Email
By: Lizz Marrs Email

MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - First the first year since 2005, there weren't any deaths related to child abuse in 2009

Officials are hoping everyone will do their part to prevent further abuse.

Numbers show people aren't afraid to pick up the phone and report abuse, since almost 3,000 calls came in to the Department of Human Services just last year.

However, officials say not enough is being done to prevent that abuse.

In 2009, there were 343 confirmed cases of child abuse in Mesa County, which is similar to cases reported in the last five years.

County Commissioner Janet Rowland, says the stresses of parenting can sometimes lead to abuse.

Rowland says, "Most parents don't wake up in the morning and think I'm going to abuse or neglect my child. It comes out of frustration. It comes out of lack of resources, lack of knowledge about parenting."

The County Commissioners created the How Are The Children initiative to give parents the tools they need to raise their kids in a non-abusive family.

Karen Martsolf says that's exactly what the Department of Human Services wants to see. "When you ask the question 'how are the children?' We want the answer to be they are well and good and healthy in our community."

To make this answer true, Rowland says, "One of the things you can do as a community member is be aware of the parents around you, who might be frustrated and overwhelmed with job of parenting. Maybe offer to take their kids off their hands for a couple of hours so they can have a break and maybe invite them to a parenting class."

If you do suspect abuse, report it to the abuse hotline at 242–1211 and for tips on parenting click on the link below for How Are The Children.

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