In the United States, a report of child abuse is […]
In the United States, a report of child abuse is made every ten seconds. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month, we spread awareness about the signs of abuse and promote the emotional and physical well-being of children and families.
According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services most states recognize four major types of maltreatment: physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Although any of the forms of child maltreatment may be found separately, they often occur in combination. In many states, abandonment and parental substance abuse are also defined as forms of child abuse or neglect.
Each form of abuse or negligence may have its own signs and symptoms. Be aware if a child seems withdrawn, has poor academic performance, is lashing out or violent or has extreme social anxiety. For a complete list of signs in children and the possible perpetrator please visit childwelfare.gov.
There are many ways to prevent child abuse, being informed is one of the best tactics. You can also help a neighbor, friend or family member or ask for help yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed by parenthood. Your well-being as a caregiver is also important. Know your limits and don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself. There are six “Protective Factors” that, when in place, promote the well-being of families and children including: early nurturing and attachment; knowledge of parenting and child development; parental resilience; social connections; concrete support for parents; and social and emotional competence for children. To get involved in promoting prevention and child abuse awareness in your area call 1.800.CHILDREN.
If you think someone you know may be the victim of abuse or the perpetrator you can contact your state’s child protective services agency for more information or get help at the National Child Abuse Hotline (800-4-A-CHILD).