SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-(4/20/17) Children that suffer from abuse and neglect can suffer from a situation called 'toxic stress,' which can lead to serious health problems later in life. With some of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the State of Missouri right here in Greene County, local non profits are working to raise awareness.
“The earlier that abuse happens the more devastating that is on the child and their development later in life,” said Brandee Bartel with The Victim Center. Toxic stress from abuse as a child can develop into serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes and long term mental health issues. It can also cause former victims of abuse to become more likely to enter unhealthy relationships as adults.
Adults are urged to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect which can vary depending on the type of abuse. Signs of physical abuse can be unusual bruises or scratches, children acting out sexually at a young age can be a sign of sexual abuse. Possible cases of neglect should be reported to the Child Abuse and Neglect hotline at 1-800-392-3738. Additional resources child sexual abuse and neglect can be found by clicking this link: http://dss.mo.gov/cd/can.htm.