Child Abuse Prevention Month: Experts aim to educate communities on warning signs, resources

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va.Nearly one in four children will experience child abuse or neglect in their lifetime.

Which is why April is recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

During the month, many localities like Christiansburg, Lynchburg, and Roanoke plant pinwheels to bring awareness.

“It’s really big for us to get the word out and around our community that child abuse is here and it is up to us as adults to eradicate it,” said Executive Director of NRV Cares, Andi Golusky.

In 2023, Roanoke found the highest number of child abuse cases, 187.

Lynchburg is a close second with 154.

Montgomery County found 55 cases, according to Virginia’s Child Protective Services.

Statewide, a total of more than 5,000 were found.

“I don’t think the numbers reflect the amount of abuse that is going on in our community so the needs are always here,” said Golusky.

Director of Clinical and Outpatient Services at LewisGale Medical Center, Brandi Gray shared some warning signs adults should be on the lookout for.

“Watching for unexplained bruises or physical injuries along with any kind of new fear going somewhere or seeing someone,” said Gray.

Golusky said one of the best ways to prevent child abuse is by having conversations with children in your life so they have a trusted adult.

“We also need to be equipping our kids with the right vocabulary for their body parts and things like that so they know how to tell their parents if something is going wrong,” said Golusky.

April is a big month for NRV Cares as the non-profit also prepares to host one of their biggest fundraisers, an auction.

They also will be hosting their Spring Family Fun Festivals throughout the NRV to provide free activities and resources for families.

About the Author

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.