The Fort Myers Police Department would like to ensure the City of Fort Myers’ children are safe, healthy and thriving as they move into adulthood. “Bringing awareness to National Child Abuse Prevention Month every April works toward meeting the goals to stop child abuse and neglect,” said Lieutenant Victor Medico. The theme for this year continues to be “Making Meaningful Connections.” When we make meaningful connections with the children, youth, and families in our communities, we can help parents build the knowledge and skills and access the resources necessary to raise happy and healthy children.
What is Child Abuse? There are four types of child maltreatment; neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Although any of the forms may be found separately, they often occur together. Each state is responsible for providing its own definitions of child abuse and neglect that meet Federal minimum standards found in the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA). Most include the following:
Neglect: Is failure to provide for a child’s basic needs.
Physical Abuse: Is physical injury ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death. As a result from kicking, punching, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting (with a hand, stick, strap, or other object), burning, or otherwise harming the child. Such injury is considered abuse regardless of whether the caretaker intended to hurt the child.
Sexual Abuse: Includes activities by a parent or caretaker such as fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials.
Emotional Abuse: Is any pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as with holding love, support, or guidance.
Report Child Abuse to the Fort Myers Police Department at (239) 321-7700 or contact Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Abuse Hotline at (800) 962-2873.
Lieutenant Victor Medico
Public Information Officer
Fort Myers Police Department
2210 Widman Way
Fort Myers, Florida 33901