April may bring spring showers, but the month also brings awareness of child abuse. The Fort Jackson’s Family Advocacy Program wants to make Soldiers and their Families aware of child abuse signs and how to prevent children from abuse during stressful times.“You may be an abuser and not even know it,” said Greg Lewis an education and prevention specialist.Lewis said abuse comes in three forms; physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.Signs of physical abuse can be the most obvious and can include bruising, welts, severe swelling and broken or fractured bones. Neglect can include dirty clothing that is worn often, sometimes day after day and withdraw from friends and family members.Emotional abuse can be the most difficult to detect, according to Lewis.“Emotional abuse doesn’t leave a mark at all,” Lewis said. “People need to be aware.”Since in-school attendance has been cancelled and children remain at home to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Lewis said the potential for child abuse to increase is a possibility.“I can see this being a stressful situation,” Lewis said. “Stress, if you leave it unchecked, can cause anger.”While some parents take on new challenges such as teleworking from home and helping their children attend school online in addition to their daily routines, the stresses can become overwhelming for some. Lewis explained there is always a solution.“It can happen in an instant,” Lewis said. “Give us a call. Reach out to the Family Advocacy Program, even if it’s just to talk.”As more and more personnel across Fort Jackson begin teleworking to ensure the health of the civilian workforce, Lewis ensured phones will be answered especially for those seeking assistance.Lewis said stress can be a leading cause of child abuse and his office offers stress and anger management classes to Soldiers and their Families for those having difficulties managing their stress.He also said resources are available to those that need further assistance. Resources include Military OneSource and the Moncrief Army Health Clinic.“If someone needs more help than we can give, we know who to get in contact with,” Lewis said.Traditionally, Lewis offered child abuse awareness information to the Fort Jackson community during events such as fun runs and display tables. This year, due to virus concerns, information can be found at www.militaryonesource.mil/leaders-service-providers/child-abuse-and-domestic-abuse or by calling his office at 751-5256.Lewis also offers information to the community on how to report suspected child abuse. Additional reporting information can also be found at the Military OneSource website.“You can report suspected child abuse to military police,” Lewis said. “Reporting can be anonymous as well.”Lewis said those who suspect a child is being abused, and are not mandated reporters, may be hesitant to report their suspicions toauthorities for fear of being wrong or of reprisals.“What if you are right and you don’t report it,” Lewis said while reiterating that reporter can remain anonymous.“Children learn what they live,” Lewis said. “Help break the cycle by being aware of child abuse and reporting.”