MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Police Department is hosting an event in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn about the warning signs of child abuse and how to report it.
Police officers need help from the public to report anything suspicious so they can investigate the situation and protect the victim.
"Any type of crime that we investigate, we are always seeking the public's input and the public's help," said Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department. "And this is just another step for us to educate the public. This is a situation that we're very aware of and we want to help address."
The American Society for Positive Care for Children is an organization that advocates for child abuse and sexual abuse victims. The group also coordinates material for presentations during the month of April for Child Abuse Prevention Month. The ASPCC website states one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. But abuse can also be physical and emotional. Police officers want to prevent all of these forms of abuse, including child neglect.
According to ASPCC, some signs of physical abuse can include unexplained bruises and welts, burn, fractures, and cuts. Signs of emotional abuse include habit or conduct disorders, along with neurotic traits. And some common signs of child neglect could be anything from consistent hunger to poor hygiene.
Lt. Crosby said what officers see the most includes physical and emotional abuse along with child neglect.
"A lot of times the public is not aware because just in casual conversations they may not identify the warning signs," said Lt. Crosby. "So we just want to make sure the public is educated on those warning signs. And to have the public be mindful that when they're engaging in conversation with kids, if these red flags do pop up make sure they contact the police department and let us know."
The event hosted by the police department will be on Monday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot, 851 Broadway Street.