(Beaver Dam) April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and officials with Dodge County’s only domestic violence shelter are using the occasion to raise awareness of the issue. Family Advocate Sarah Saverino with People Against Violent Environments in Beaver Dam works to empower those affected by violence. PAVE’s child advocacy program offers safety planning, counseling, and support groups to both victims of abuse as well as children affected by domestic violence.
On WBEV’s Community Comment this week, Saverino said that, as a society, we need to better examine our behavior because children pick up on more than we realize. She also stressed the need to get involved in support and prevention programs. Saverino also talked about the effects of domestic violence on children saying that kids who witness domestic violence in the home are 15 times more likely to be victims of child abuse. Many of these children also suffer physical, behavioral, emotional, and social issues throughout their lives.
In the US, the latest statistics show that over three-and-a-half million child abuse and neglect reports were filed with over 700,000 children being found to be victims, and an average of four fatalities a day directly related to abuse or neglect. Anyone who wishes to report domestic abuse, child abuse, or wants to know more about the effects of violence on children can call PAVE at their crisis line 800-775-3785.