CONTACT: Public Relations: 570-214-9091
Nov. 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DANVILLE, Pa. – The first step in helping abused or neglected children is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
However, experts at the Child Welfare Information Gateway caution that the presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family. A closer look may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination.
“More than 90 percent of sexual assault victims know their assailant, making it ever more important for parents, educators and caretakers to take notice of the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse,” said Nicole Quinlan, Ph.D., one of several Geisinger Health System pediatric psychologists trained to identify behavioral changes that may signify the potential presence of sexual abuse.
A survey by Hope Shining, one of the nation’s victim-assistance organizations, revealed that many Americans, despite their overwhelming concern and personal experiences, lack the knowledge to stop child abuse.
In fact, the survey showed that 72 percent said it is difficult to identify child abuse and a majority, 52 percent, said it is extremely difficult to identify. Additionally, less than 10 percent could identify basic signs known to be associated with child abuse.
Signs that may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect include:
Prevent Child Abuse America, a child advocacy group, details the following behavioral warning signs that a child may have been abused:
About Geisinger Health System
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development and implementation of innovative care models including ProvenHealth Navigator, an advanced medical home model, and ProvenCare program. The system serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 42 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org. Follow the latest Geisinger news and more at www.twitter.com/geisingerhealth and www.facebook.com/geisingerhealth.
# # # #