April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month (in the United States) – so today is the perfect day for a first blog entry.
Child Abuse is an umbrella term which also covers Child Neglect (emotional and physical), verbal abuse (such as swearing), abandonment and threats of harm to the child. Child Abuse can involve particular actions, or inaction (such as failure to provide for the child).
Preventing child abuse is not a job for parents or carers alone – the whole community has a role in preventing child abuse.
The six protective factors for preventing child abuse are:
- Nuturing and Attachment
- Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
- Parental Resilience
- Social Connections
- Concrete Supports for Parents
- Social and Emotional Competence of Children
If a child is being neglected or abused it does not necessarily mean the parents are ‘bad’ or are intentionally causing the child harm. It can mean a parent/carer/relative and someone else in contract with the child is causing the issue, or it can be a sign of a person who is in need of more support or who is unaware there is an issue. Reporting possible abuse or neglect is the best way to help improve a child’s life.
For the children you know, how can help them? If you have children yourself, are they aware of OK, and not OK? Do they know who they could tell if they are worried about their friends? Is there a child you know who often seems sad, afraid or angry, have you asked them why this is? Would you know the signs of possible abuse if you saw them – for example patterns of marks on a child’s ear, or an unusual way of acting towards others? You do not need to be 100% sure to report a possible case of neglect or abuse, professionals can look into it themselves.
If there a child you know who may be neglected or abused, contact a helpline today to report it.
Raising awareness within our own communities is one of the key ways to prevent child abuse, and to stop it early.
- Hospital Uses Pinwheels to Draw Attention to Child Abuse (wytv.com)
- Child Abuse & Neglect Continues to Increase In Mesa County (krextv.com)
- Types of child abuse & signs of child abuse (expertscolumn.com)
- Child neglect danger ‘underplayed’ (bbc.co.uk)
- WHITE OUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE APRIL 1st (ireport.cnn.com)
- Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2013 Resource Guide (womensphilanthropy.typepad.com)
- Campaign to fight child abuse, neglect begin across state (kdvr.com)
- Stand Up, Speak Out – Child Development – Child Abuse Prevention – Parenting – Infants – Toddlers – Resources (everydayfamily.com)