The month of April, 2024 is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Atlantic County, New Jersey Prosecutor’s Office has released the following statement about this important focus:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office acknowledges the importance of child and family well-being to our entire community. Child abuse is the non-accidental physical, sexual, or emotional harm or risk of harm to a child under the age of 18 caused by a parent or other person who acts as a caregiver. Any concerned person can report suspicions of child abuse or neglect by calling their local police department, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office at (609) 909-7800 or leave an anonymous tip on our website at ACPO. Tips. People can also call the Child Abuse Hotline at (877) NJ-ABUSE / (877) 652-2873 / TTY: (800) 835-5510.

The issue of child abuse has come into direct focus in Atlantic City with the recent criminal charges filed against Atlantic City High School Principal, Constance Days-Chapman.

Days-Chapman has been criminally charged with:

  • second-degree Official Misconduct.
  • third-degree Hindering Apprehension of Another.
  • fourth-degree Obstruction of Justice.
  • disorderly persons Failure to Report Child Abuse.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office confirmed that the charges were placed on a summons.

About Days-Chapman, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office wrote the following disturbing remarks:

On January 22, 2024, a juvenile student at the high school informed a school staff member that the student had been emotionally and physically abused by the student's parents and that the student had previously disclosed this abuse to Mrs. Days-Chapman. The school staff member discussed the matter with Days-Chapman later that same day. Days-Chapman denied that the student ever disclosed the abuse to her previously but told the school staffer that she would report the matter to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P, formerly known as DYFS). Both the staffer and another eyewitness to the conversation believed that Days-Chapman was going to notify the authorities as they were leaving her office. The other eyewitness even told Days-Chapman that she (the eyewitness) would notify DCP&P, but that Days-Chapman insisted that she would make the notification. Later that evening, Days-Chapman met with the juvenile's parents at the parents' house and informed them that the juvenile disclosed to school staff that the juvenile was being abused by them. DCP&P confirmed that there was no disclosure reported to them regarding the abuse of the juvenile from Days-Chapman or any other member of the staff from Atlantic City High School. This incident was investigated by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office's Special Victims Unit and the Professional Standards and Accountability Unit.

It remains to be seen if Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small’s current problems are directly related to the Days-Chapman criminal charges.

The focus of standing up for every child … that there is no excuse for child abuse and that every child matters is so very important.


SOURCES: Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office and well placed Atlantic City confidential sources.

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