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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month — a time to recognize that we all play a part in building strong families and communities that promote the healthy development of our children.

Child abuse and neglect has a life-long impact. In fact, research has shown that adults who experienced trauma as a child more often suffer from health problems, struggle with relationships, and earn lower wages than those who did not experience trauma.

Protective Factors for Strong Families

Alaska is working to prevent child abuse through the Strengthening Families initiative. This proven approach to building family strengths focuses on five protective factors:

  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Parental resilience
  • Social connections
  • Concrete support for families
  • Social and emotional competence of children

When these protective factors are in place, the risk of child abuse and neglect is reduced. Everyone can help establish and develop these protective factors within their own family and within the community. Learn more about what you can do make a difference at

Know the Warning Signs of Abuse

Children who have been abused or neglected may not tell anyone or seek help. However, they may display other indicators of abuse, which may include:

  • Suddenly becoming withdrawn, aggressive, or self-destructive, or other sudden behavior changes
  • Begging, stealing, or hoarding food
  • Eating or sleeping problems
  • Bedwetting and/or soiling in a previously toilet-trained child
  • Familiarity with sexual terms and activity beyond the child's level of development

Learn more signs of abuse and neglect here.

Speak Up

If you ever suspect child abuse or neglect, it is important to take action to protect that child. Report your concerns to the Alaska Office of Children’s Services at 1-800-478-4444 or If a child is in immediate danger, call the police.

Go Blue

Friday, April 6, 2018, is Go Blue Day. Wear blue, the official color of prevention, to show your support for children and raise awareness of abuse and neglect.

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