April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and more than ever the issue of child abuse should matter to Bartholomew County residents.

Child abuse and neglect cases are on the rise in the county, largely because of drug abuse. The county dealt with 32 child abuse and neglect cases 10 years ago, but last year that total reached 258 — 104 more than in 2014. That’s a disturbing trend.

Various programs have been planned by organizations throughout the year to promote awareness of child abuse and raise money for prevention programs. That’s both needed and appreciated.

A kickoff event at the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. administration building and a puppet show at the Bartholomew County Public Library, which addressed bullying and difficult situations for kids, already have been conducted.

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However, some upcoming events and promotions offer opportunities for residents to do their part to raise awareness about the problem and fight it. They include:

Tuesday: “Dine to Donate,” at Johnny Carino’s, 870 Creekview Drive. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of proceeds to child abuse prevention programs from those who tell their server they are there for the fundraiser.

April 25: “Stress and Parenting,” 6:30 p.m. in the Bartholomew County Library Red Room, 536 Fifth St. One-hour educational presentation and discussion for adults.

April 26: “Dine to Donate,” at Chipotle, 2260 National Road. Up to 50 percent of proceeds paid by customers who inform staff they are there for the fundraiser will go toward child abuse prevention programs.

Child abuse is a crucial issue that county residents need to know about because the problem is getting worse locally. While being informed about the problem is an important first step, taking action is needed to help make a difference. Child abuse awareness efforts, such as those that are upcoming, are worthy and deserving of your support.