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Child Abuse Prevention Month observed at Hanscom

A Commissary customer walks by a Child Abuse Prevention Month display at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., April 21. The silhouettes placed around the installation were colored and decorated by children from the Hanscom youth programs and each resources for reporting and preventing child abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

A Commissary customer walks by a Child Abuse Prevention Month display at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., April 21. The silhouettes placed around the installation were colored and decorated by children from the Hanscom youth programs and each resources for reporting and preventing child abuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

LauraLee Morris, installation resident housing advocate, hangs a display on the Brown Conference Room entrance to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., April 21. The silhouettes placed around the installation were colored and decorated by children from the Hanscom youth programs and each share resources for reporting and preventing child abuse. U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

LauraLee Morris, installation resident housing advocate, hangs a display on the Brown Conference Room entrance to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., April 21. The silhouettes placed around the installation were colored and decorated by children from the Hanscom youth programs and each share resources for reporting and preventing child abuse. U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Base officials are calling attention to the monthlong observance by raising community awareness and pushing out resources to prevent child abuse.

“There is a false sense that it doesn’t happen in our military communities, but child abuse is a very real thing that happens all around us,” said LauraLee Morris, installation resident housing advocate.

As the housing advocate, Morris said she can assist residents with more than just maintenance concerns. She can also help connect residents with resources.

Morris partnered with the Hanscom Family Advocacy Program and violence prevention integrator to educate the community on all the forms abuse can take.

“It’s not just a physical thing,” said Jocelyn Foo, installation violence prevention integrator. “Abuse comes in many different forms and can have a lasting effect on survivors.”

Morris and Foo posted 24 silhouettes across the installation.

Each silhouette was decorated by children at the Child Development Center and School Age Programs here. The decorated cutouts each feature resources for identifying and preventing abusive situations, said Morris.

 “We wanted something that would get people to stop and pay attention because it takes all of us to stay on top of this issue,” she said.

Additional information can be found at www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/family-life/child-abuse-prevention-month/.

Morris described ending child abuse as a total community effort

“We have to come together as a community and be active in bringing awareness to this issue, because the children are our future,” said Morris.

Child Abuse Prevention Month also coincides with Sexual Assault Awareness Month.