- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:

April 5

Sun Herald, Biloxi, on stopping abuse of the innocent:

If you suspected or witnessed a homicide, you wouldn’t call Mothers Against Murder. You’d call the police or the sheriff’s office. And you’d do it as if it were a matter of life or death.

The same should apply to spousal and child abuse, because it too can be murderous. It certainly kills love and trust and innocence. And it can tragically escalate to a fatal wound or blow.

Domestic violence - whether it is the abuse of an adult or a child - is a crime, and you should report a crime by dialing 911.

Nonprofit organizations, social service agencies and advocacy groups have their roles to play in preventing and coping with such violence.

But their involvement is often too late.

This plea for immediate intervention - by law enforcement - is prompted by April being Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April has been Child Abuse Prevention Month since 1983, just as October has been Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1981.

Yet after more than three decades of awareness, too many of us still accept lame excuses for cuts and scars and bruises on friends and co-workers and children.

Ah, yes. The children.

As this is April, we will focus on the children.

The Coast can be a dangerous place for a child. According to the Mississippi Department of Human Services, there was evidence 8,282 children in Mississippi were the victims of abuse during fiscal year 2013. Nearly 20 percent of them - 1,568 - lived in the three coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson.

What if there were an equal number of murders in our coastal communities? Or even half that many? Would we simply observe Murder Awareness Month, hold a few fundraisers and move on?

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