"For us, child abuse means more than what you may hear on television or read about online," said Andrea Barros, a member of the Center for Youth Leadership's Senators Community Foundation at Brien McMahon High School.
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and the Center for Youth Leadership (CYL) wants the community to know that it is an issue happening in Norwalk's backyard.
"It's very important to bring awarenes to this issue because people can stop making bias judgements and just enter as we say "enter into someone's chaos" and have an more open minded aspect into what goes on in everyones home," said Barros.
"According to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, 6,736 children were abused, neglected, and/or uncared for last year, including 481 in Bridgeport, 186 in Stamford and 83 in Norwalk," read Barros during a presentation Tuesday morning at Brien McMahon High School.
CYL is working with Kids in Crisis spreading awareness throughout Fairfield County that child abuse goes beyond neglect.
"Kids in Crisis sees the tragic affect of child abuse everyday. The young boy who rarely eats, and when he does is forced by his mother and step-father to eat off the floor of the home. Teenage girls who turn to prostitution after running away from home. Or a mother alone in a new city with now financial resources, having just left an abusive relationship. Who then faces the daunting prospect of chemotherapy treatment, with no one to care for her three children," said Kristen Tomasiewica, the Director of Community Services for Kids in Crisis.
The Center for Youth Leadership says they will continue to work in the community to put an end to this issue.
"We will continue to staff our human trafficking windows in South Norwalk and reach out to truckers at rest areas on I-95. We will continue to volunteer with children at safe houses in Fairfield County and host fun group activities twice a month," noted Barros at the end of the presentation.
For more information about Kids in Crisis, visit kidsincrisis.org