Iowans Are Called To Promote Positive Childhood Experiences, Prevent Abuse

Iowa — April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Iowa, and Sharon Miller, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa, says they hope to raise awareness about the problem which prompts some 35-thousand investigations statewide each year.

Miller says the biggest child abuse problem in Iowa is typically child neglect.

State studies show about 59% of child abuse cases in Iowa involve neglect, followed by drug-related cases at 28%. Physical and sexual abuse make up a small fraction of cases, but a federal study finds sexual abuse is widely under-reported, with roughly one in four girls and one in 13 boys sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Miller says there is a message for the month, as they hope to promote positive childhood experiences and prevent the adversity children sometimes face.

The annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference will be held April 30th and May 1st at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The state’s Child or Dependent Adult Abuse Hotline is 1-800-362-2178.