George Noorey

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George Noorey

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The Kid’s Center in Bend gets over 2400 reports of child abuse each year from the tri-county area. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Kid’s Center Director Shelly Smith says educating the community to recognize signs of child abuse is an important aspect of child abuse prevention. She says most of the kids they see are under the age of nine, and many of them really don't know they are a victim. "And you have to realize that with kids that their whole world is their parents and their caregivers, so it takes a lot of courage for a child to speak up and say something. You know kids that are under the age of five developmentally don't even know the abuse is wrong. And so I think we've heard from kids that come in, they say: ‘You know I didn't know until I went to a sleep over at my friends house that what my dad was doing or what my mom's boyfriend was doing wasn't right, that their parents weren't doing the same thing." Smith says they have educational programs like "Darkness to Light" that will give you tools to identify an abuse child. Smith adds that law enforcement and teachers have a lot of training in how to deal with these cases and they should be your first point of contact if you suspect child abuse.
 
 
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