GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. April is ‘National Child Abuse Prevention Month’, and Mesa County is doing its part to take action against abuse.
Local organizations are stressing the importance of prevention this month as they are encouraging the community to stand up against abuse and neglect that kids may be seeing or experiencing in our own community.
Throughout this month different groups will be educating and encouraging people on their responsibility to alert authorities to any kind of child abuse that may be happening. Last year, the Western Slope Center for Children helped 358 kids who were facing some sort of abuse here in Mesa County.
They say this year, more people are reporting abuse as their numbers are already on the rise.
"People are actually feeling comfortable coming out and talking about it, coming forward, and it's just important that we put a stop to it," said Jeffery Schuster, with the Western Slope Center for Children.
If you suspect child abuse or have seen it occur, experts warn it's critical to report it Child advocates say the effects of abuse are widespread and long-lasting, which is why it can make a big difference the sooner victims are able to get help.