Saturday, November 28 , 2015, 8:37 pm | Fair 53º

CALM Launches Video on How to Recognize and Report Child Abuse

By Jennifer Zacharias for CALM |

As adults, it’s our job to protect our youth. Individuals who work directly with children are obligated by law to report known or suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect.

With the school year quickly coming to an end, and thousands of children heading out into the community for camps, sports and extracurricular activities, CALM recognizes this as a critical time to raise awareness and educate the community about the signs of child abuse and neglect, and is offering an important free new video as a resource to support anyone that works with children.

One of CALM’s newest initiatives to raise awareness and educate the community about child abuse prevention is through a new video it produced, “Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse.”

Whether you are a teacher, a doctor, a police officer or work in a volunteer capacity with children, the law mandates that it’s your responsibility to report child abuse or neglect. Child abuse is not always visible with broken bones and bruises; it can leave emotional scars deep beneath the skin. This informative new video highlights the different types of abuse, including neglect, physical, sexual and emotional. CALM staff as well as local agency partners and educators came together in this video to educate viewers about red flag warning signs associated with each type of abuse.

“For a child to tell someone he or she has been abused takes courage,” said Cecilia Rodriguez, executive director of CALM. “Disclosures are often indirect, disguised or conditional; therefore it’s critical to recognize the signs. This new video is an important resource to help inform individuals how to appropriately respond and report following a disclosure. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it’s imperative to get the help he or she needs.”

CALM’s (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) vision is a world where child abuse no longer exists, but until then, an important part of their mission is to support and educate the entire community in an effort to protect our children. If you know or reasonably suspect a child has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, you must report. If the situation is an immediate emergency, call 9-1-1.

For additional information on how to report abuse, as well as warning signs, please click here.

CALM was founded in 1970 to reach stressed parents before they hurt their children. CALM continues to be the only non-profit agency in Santa Barbara County focusing solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive, cutting-edge programs. CALM offers children, families, and adults a safe, non-judgmental, caring, and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well-being.

For more information about all of CALM’s services, please call 805.965.2376 or click here.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing CALM.

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