An ongoing struggle for any community is how to combat the scourge of child abuse. One local organization has done everything in their power to continually fight and advocate for the children of Oneida County.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, law enforcement officials and local agencies joined forces Tuesday to raise awareness for the causes of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center. This annual event is in conjunction with National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.

Photo Courtesy of Oneida County Executive Anthony Picentes Office
Photo Courtesy of Oneida County Executive Anthony Picentes Office

During the event Oneida County Executive Picente stated,

Nothing we do in this county is more important than protecting our children. Our caseworkers and investigators are on the frontlines, fighting to stop these atrocities from occurring, and supporting victims of these reprehensible acts. It is the duty of all of us however, to recognize, report and actively become part of the solution to reduce child abuse and neglect. When children and families are supported, the entire community benefits.

It was revealed that the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center investigated a total of 1,041 cases in 2023. Those cases involved 980 children, 722 alleged offenders and 47 total arrests. There were several children given physical exams and several more received counseling as a result of their abuse. You can see the breakdown of cases below, according to the Oneida County Executive's Office.

  • 944 were sexual abuse cases
  • 12 were physical abuse cases
  • 24 were neglect cases
  • 661 were female
  • 319 were male
  • 390 were 13-18 years-old
  • 367 were 7-12 years-old
  • 223 were 0-6 years old

This is only representative of cases handled by the Child Advocacy Center. There were a total of 3,976 cases of abuse reported in Oneida County and several of them were handled by Child Protective Services. This is only a fraction of what is happening around the country as more than 600,000 children are abused every year.

Photo Courtesy of Oneida County Executive Anthony Picentes Office
Photo Courtesy of Oneida County Executive Anthony Picentes Office

Chief Deputy Derrick O'Meara is the Director of the Child Advocacy Center. O'Meara says,

In an effort to raise awareness for child abuse prevention in our community, we urge everyone to recognize that they can be the one to be part of the solution. Teachers, parents, community members, neighbors and friends all have the power and responsibility to help keep children safe. You can be the one in the life of a child to help end abuse.

Luckily, we have the brave men and women who battle this plight daily to help bring as many abusers to justice as humanly possible.

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