Child Abuse Prevention: What All Parents Need To Know

Celeste Bogdanoff spends her days in interview rooms at Safe Passage in Colorado Springs talking to the youngest victims of physical and sexual abuse.

"Here's our camera and we usually let the kids know it's being recorded," said Bogdanoff, as she reveals a video camera on a wall of the interview room.

Bogdanoff said having a recording prevents the kids from having to tell their story over and over again.

"Some kids, they are ready and they want to talk about it and they want to get it off their chest," said Bogdanoff. "Some kids have been threatened, some kids are very scared and they don't want to talk about it."

She said one of the most difficult parts for many parents to understand is that the abuser is often a close family friend or family member.

"(The offender) put a lot of effort into concealing the abuse and to a creating just a sense of secrecy with the child," said Bogdanoff.

We asked Bogdanoff how parents can protect their children from potential abuse.

"We always tell parents to educate your child, let them know, tell them about their body, help them understand what's private and just for them," she said.

Bogdanoff said if a child confides in you about the abuse, believe them.

"The biggest thing we always say is believe a child because children rarely make up stories about sexual abuse," Bogdanoff said.

So how can you tell if your child is being abused? Safe Passage says you should be concerned if a child has the following:

-Sudden unexplained injuries such as burns or bruises
-Sudden changes in behavior like acting scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive
-Returning to behaviors from earlier ages like thumb sucking, bed wetting or fear of the dark
-Drastic changes in eating behavior

If you suspect abuse, call the child abuse hotline at 719-444-5700.


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