SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Every year thousands of cases of child abuse are reported in San Francisco alone and many more go unreported and unnoticed. During this National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center is calling on the community to take an active role in making the city a better place for children and families.

KCBS’ Connie C. Kim talks to Child Abuse Council Director Kathy Baxter:

Child Abuse Council Director Kathy Baxter encourages all parents and members of the community to be proactive in finding ways to promote positive child care to prevent potential child abuse.

The Center provides resources and education for parents, community groups, lawmakers and children. One program called the Child Safety Awareness program helps kids from kindergarten to 5th grade learn everything from how they can protect themselves while crossing the street to knowing their body parts and being able to say no, run, and get help if they are caught in a situation they are not comfortable with.

Baxter added that the new Children’s Advocacy Center of San Francisco will be opening this year partnering with the Center for Youth Wellness and Bayview Child’s Health Center.

“We’ll be able to provide comprehensive programs for children who have experienced trauma in their lives.”

In recent news, an Oakland man was sentenced to 11 years for suffocating his crying baby. Because of numerous cases like this one, the Center took over a shaking baby prevention project where they trained nurses at seven delivery hospitals on this very issue.

“Every first-time parent is talked to about shaking baby syndrome. They are also given practical advice on what to do when a child doesn’t stop crying,” Baxter said. With resources including a 24-hour parental stress line, brochures, and seminars, the Center hopes to educate parents on dealing with their newborn babies.

Baxter said “child abuse” may be defined as any act of omission or commission that impairs the physical and mental health of children and their development. These include physical abuse, injury, failure to provide for basic needs, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, as well as performing domestic violence in front of a child.

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(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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