Help Prevent Child Abuse

Help Prevent Child Abuse

Have you seen the signs of child abuse and not known? Have you suspected that a child had suffered abuse and were paralyzed from action by doubt? What counts as child abuse? How can you tell when a child is being abused?

If you’ve ever asked yourself one of these questions, you’re not alone. Child abuse is a difficult topic to ponder, let alone discuss openly. And because of child abuse is a difficult subject, we rarely recognize the signs of the epidemic issue that affects millions of American children each year.

In April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, it’s time to reflect upon the losses and suffering of children throughout our communities and raise awareness to help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Child Abuse Facts

  1. More than 2.9 million reports of child abuse are made each year in the United States, according to Safe Horizon, the largest victim’s services agency in the U.S.
  2. There are approximately 681,000 documented cases of child abuse in the U.S. each year, according to a report in HealthyDay.com
  3. Ninety percent of juvenile sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  4. Abused and neglected children are 9 times more likely to engage in criminal behavior, as reported by the U.S. Child Welfare Agency.

Child Abuse Myths

By knowing the facts that surround child abuse and neglect, we can identify the signs and intervene. Below are a few, common facts, for a complete list of essential myths and related facts, read Child Mattersarticle.

  1. It’s only abuse if it’s violent - Neglect and emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse and, since they are subtler, intervention is less likely.
  2. Only bad people abuse their children – Child abuse crosses all racial, economic and cultural lines. Even families who seem to have it all can be hiding abuse.
  3. Children who are being abused are sure to let someone know - Most children who are abused don’t tell. Often they don’t know they should tell and are not aware that someone could help.

Warning Signs of Abuse in Children

Different types of abuse, whether emotional, physical, sexual or neglect, have their own warning signs. Understanding those child abuse signs, according to HelpGuide.Org, is essential to recognizing and being able to report cases of child abuse.

  • Extremes in behavior
  • Fearful or anxious about doing something wrong
  • Frequent, unexplained injuries
  • Always watchful and “on alert”
  • Shies away from touch and flinches at sudden movements

If you have reason to believe a child may be at risk of harm in their home, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD, where crisis counselors are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How You Can Help

father's hand lead his child son in summer forest nature outdoorEach day in America, four children are killed by abuse or neglect and countless others are the victims of abuse. Help the children in your community discover a life without fear by looking for ways to support local families and children’s programs.

  • Report suspected cases of child abuse to local authorities.
  • Give relief to a struggling family. By providing your used clothing, furniture and toys to a family in need, you can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that may contribute to instances of child abuse.
  • Volunteer your time or donate money to programs in your community that support children and families.
  • Advocate for and support public policies, programs and issues that benefit children and families.

Prevention Programs and Organizations

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

The pinwheel has become a significant symbol during the campaign to raise awareness throughout the nation. Pinwheels for Prevention aids in creating a national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention. Join us this month in providing a safe and healthy future for children.

Learn more at https://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/

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