child abuse

Overcoming child abuse requires victims to learn how to trust themselves, not blame themselves, according to Dr. Ann Botash, professor of pediatrics at Upstate University Hospital. Botash is co-director of the Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation Program and medical director of the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center.

On this week’s show, Botash describes the signs of neglect and abuse (physical, emotional and sexual), and explains a five-point guideline for preventing abuse: learn the facts, minimize opportunities, talk about it, recognize the signs, and react responsibly.

Child abuse numbers are dropping slightly in Onondaga County. But advocates for victims say public awareness is the way to make a real dent in the number of abuse cases.

The McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse has seen a slight decrease the number of children coming through the agency in the last three years -- from 668 in 2012 to 593 last year.  That almost mirrors the drop in abuse hotline calls to Onondaga County – which fell from just over 6,600 in 2-12 to approximately 6,200 last year.

Two survivors of child sexual abuse are urging central New Yorkers to take part in a program that aims to prevent abuse, by arming bystanders with information.

Dan Leonard’s story of child abuse goes back to when he was 11 years old and a football coach began abusing him. And Leonard says he wasn't the only victim.

“He abused hundreds of kids over the years. Anyone attached to that football program knew what was going on or should have suspected it.  Nobody, all those years, all those kids, nobody said anything,” Leonard said.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. One organization in central New York that works on preventing child abuse will kick off activities with a new director.

Ryan Delaney

Senator Charles Schumer visited the child advocacy center in Fulton Tuesday to promote passage of the Violence Against Women Act. Schumer chose to highlight Oswego County because of a sharp rise in reported child abuse cases.