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Every adult responsible for children’s safety

When you were a child, everything that the adults in your life did or said around you tempered who you would become later in life.

The people you look up to the most, your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and teachers, are also the ones who can hurt you the most.

Even as a teenager, what you thought of yourself depended so heavily on the words and actions of those around you.

It is hard to imagine the lifelong emotional scarring that occurs in child who has suffered from abuse or neglect. It is also hard to imagine hurting someone at such a fragile age, yet it happens more frequently than we realize.

Last month, 288 blue pinwheels decorated the Natchez bluff in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention month.

Each pinwheel represents one child that received assistance in the past year from Natchez Children’s Services, which is a child advocacy center serving Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Claiborne and Wilkinson counties.

There is a child inside all of us that needs to feel protected and loved and understands, to some degree, what those children are facing.

As adults, it is our duty and legal responsibility to report abuse and neglect, even if it involves someone you know. Your help could save a child’s life or spare them from being hurt anymore.

Anyone who knows or suspects an abusive situation can call the Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services hotline at 1800-222-8000.

With questions for Natchez Children’s Services, call 601-442-6858.

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