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Jill Atwood reportingChild advocates are launching an effort this month to remind everyone about the problem of child abuse. Organizers say the very people children trust, are usually the people that end up hurting kids.
From February of 2002 through February of this year, Utah's Division of Child and Family Services confirmed close to 7-thousand cases of child abuse statewide. Over 1500 of those children had to be removed from their homes.
We also know that last year 14 children in Utah died at the hands of an abuser, and 3 children die everyday somewhere in the U.S.
Ann Freimuth, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah - "THEY MAY NOT KNOW THAT TO HIT SOMEONE SO BADLY THAT THEY CAN'T GO TO SCHOOL FOR THREE DAYS IS NOT OKAY.."
Ann Freimuth is the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah. Her organization educates the community on what to look for.
Ann Freimuth/Prevent Child Abuse Utah - "OF COURSE THE OBVIOUS ONES LIKE BRUISES CHILDREN MISSING A LOT OF SCHOOL, KIDS THAT ARE AFRAID TO BE AROUND ADULTS OR SEEM HESITANT..."
But more importantly they educate kids on what's right from wrong.
Ann Freimuth/Prevent Child Abuse Utah - "THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S NOT APPROPRIATE..TO BE DISCIPLINED THAT WAY..THAT EVERYBODY DOESN'T GET BURNED WITH A CIGARETTE WHEN THEY MISBEHAVE OR THAT SEXUAL TOUCHING OR FONDLING IS NOT OKAY..THEY ARE JUST NOT AWARE THAT IT DOESN'T HAPPEN TO EVERYONE."
Freimuth says it's important kids know it's okay to tell someone they're being hurt, and that they understand it's not their fault.
Utah is a mandatory reporting state, meaning if you even suspect a child is being abused, you have to report it to the Division of Child and Family Services or to police.