April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester), Chair of the Assembly Women & Children Committee, issued the following statement urging New Jersey residents to help identify and combat child abuse in their communities:
“Each year, more than 6,000 children throughout our state are abused or neglected by the adults in their lives. These children often go on to experience physical and psychological issues that can affect them well into adulthood, especially if they never receive the support they need to recover from their traumatic experiences.
“With remote learning and limited extracurricular activities for students during the COVID-19 pandemic, many children have been cut off from outside support for an extended period of time. Calls to NJ’s Child Abuse Hotline dropped significantly last year, leading to fears that mistreatment is going undetected without teachers, doctors, daycare workers and other adults around to notice the signs of child abuse.
“More than ever, we need residents to step up and do their part to help identify and report child abuse and neglect. There are many potential indicators, such as hypervigilance, frequent and unexplained injuries, and unsuitable clothing that can be used to cover up bruises in warm weather – to name just a few.
“I encourage everyone to learn more about the warning signs so you can help a child in need if you ever suspect they are a victim. It is on each and every one of us to help put an end to child abuse and neglect in our communities. If you encounter this situation, please do not hesitate to call NJ’s hotline at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873) so that trained professionals can help.”