JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. A local physician stressed the importance of speaking up about child abuse.

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as a recent act or failure to act on the part of a caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation.

Dr. Timothy Quinn, of Quinn Healthcare in Ridgeland, said he’s witnessed “too many cases” of child abuse in his 19 years of practice. He said sometimes the child won’t be with the abuser when they come in. Instead, they will be with their grandmother or someone else other than the abuser.

Quinn added that a person can be held liable if they are aware a child is physically or emotionally abused and they don’t speak up.

He recommended staying aware and paying attention to your kids. He also recommended sitting down, asking questions and engaging with your child.

Child abuse can be reported to the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services online.