Manley Highlights Child Abuse Prevention Month

With April being child abuse prevention month, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is encouraging residents to join her in taking a few minutes to learn about child abuse and take steps to recognize the signs and prevent future abuse from occurring.

“Working together to protect the most vulnerable among us from being exploited and abused is one of the only ways to keep everyone in our community safe,” said Manley. “Being informed and able to recognize the signs of abuse will enable us to act appropriately on behalf of a child.”

According to data collected by state agencies, over 125,000 kids are abused or neglected each year in Illinois. Abuse comes in a variety of forms, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Warning signs of abuse in children include unexplained injuries, fear of a parent or caretaker, frequently missing school, lacking needed medical or dental care, extreme changes in behavior, and a reluctance to go home. Residents can report suspected child abuse by calling the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE (800-252-2873). For more information on child abuse prevention, please visit Prevent Child Abuse Illinois’ website at

Throughout her time in the General Assembly, Manley has worked to crack down on child abuse. In 2021, she supported legislation which required schools to develop employee code of professional conduct policies, which include the definition of sexual misconduct, and added grooming to the list of conduct that qualifies as child abuse. In 2017, Manley also helped pass legislation removing the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes.

“While we have taken many steps over the years to make children safer, there are still kids in our community that need our help,” said Manley. “I will continue to work both in Springfield and at home to protect children by supporting programs and services that are available to prevent abuse from occurring and stop further abuse from happening.”