LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Child Abuse Prevention Month starts this week. It is a way for advocates to mark an important reminder- that child abuse can happen right in your own neighborhood or right in front of you.
“The key is the baseline, OK where were they and where are they now?” Mendi Baron the CEO of Moriah Behavioral Health said.
Baron said adults such as teachers can be the first ones to suspect if a child is being abused.
“As a teacher, I’ve seen this kid happy go lucky cheerful, interacting, and now I see them depressed, sad, anxious they are not interacting,” Baron said.
Baron advises being on the lookout for any bruising that may be frequent.
As for child neglect, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services says that can look like if a child has torn clothing, is left alone in unsafe situations, or appears to be malnourished.
To outsiders, it can be hard to detect abuse behind closed doors.
As the 8 News Now Investigators have previously reported, a teen girl in North Las Vegas was seen trying to escape her second-floor window to get water in November. That is when neighbors called the police. She was found in her room with deadbolts on both sides and buckets to use as a bathroom.
However, Baron said though a child or teen can be saved from abusive situations, recovery from abuse can often be difficult.
“To escape the after-effects of abuse, they will take it out on themselves. You will see self-harm, you see suicides, or you see kids take it out on other kids,” Baron said.
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect estimate that over two million children are abused or neglected yearly.
Prevent Child Abuse Nevada encourages wearing blue on April 7th to bring more awareness to this topic.
To report suspicions of child abuse you can click here.