FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt Maisel
Director of Communications, City of Harrisburg
April 3, 2023
HARRISBURG – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the City of Harrisburg is reminding its residents that if you see something, say something.
Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams was joined by Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry, and Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo at the Martin Luther King Jr. City Government Center on Monday, reminding people that for all the great work done by the city, county, and commonwealth to get child predators off the street, there is still much work needed to be done.
“Prevention is why we are here today. Prevention from harm. Prevention from predators,” said Mayor Williams. “Our ability to prevent our youth from being harmed is the touchstone of how we will be judged by future generations.”
Preventing child abuse is a collaborative effort, not only between agencies, but citizens as well. Both District Attorney Chardo and Attorney General Henry stressed the needs for people to speak up if they notice child abuse or human trafficking around them.
In 2019, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office launched the Safe2Say hotline for anonymous abuse reporting. In 2023 alone, she says there has been a 250% increase in tips coming in; thousands of reports, many from students who are flagging concerns, including child abuse, from friends.
“I am honored to be among so many strong, dedicated advocates for our children. As Attorney General, it is my job to protect kids from abuse, prosecute predators, and ensure that survivors and their families have the support they need,” Attorney General Henry said. “This event is a great opportunity for partners to come together and collaborate in promoting awareness and resources available to better serve families and protect children in Pennsylvania.”
Those partners, Henry said, have helped arrest more than 500 people on child abuse offenses since she joined the Pa. Attorney General’s office in December 2016.
However, there is still much work to be done to make Harrisburg, Dauphin County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania safer. In the Harrisburg area alone, according to Chardo and the Harrisburg Bureau of Police, nine individuals are wanted for violating Megan’s Law violations. If you have any knowledge on where police can find these people, please contact the Harrisburg Police at (717) 558-6900. Tips and information can also be submitted via the Crimewatch website at https://dauphin.crimewatchpa.com/hbgpd/submit-tip/.
“We know human trafficking is an enormous problem, and it is happening in plain sight,” said District Attorney Chardo. “We have to urge people to report it, because if we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about it.”
If you suspect child abuse, you can report it to the PA Childline at 1-800-932-0313, call the Safe2Say tipline at 1-844-732-2729, or the Child Predator Hotline, at 1-800-385-1044.