CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

Children of domestic violence are victims too

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

Children of domestic violence are victims too

Child Abuse Prevention Month is recognized during April of every year.

Each week of this month I will direct a great portion of time blogging on various types of child abuse—verbal, emotional, physical and sexual. I will be focusing on Child Abuse Prevention Month, hopefully providing you with valuable, and unfortunately sometimes shocking, information about child abuse. More importantly, my desire is to spread the word and open some eyes and ears of adults, motivating you to take a stand, make a difference, and save some children.

Let’s start here: The current statistics now say 1 in 4 (or some say 3) women is or will become a victim of domestic violence. I don’t know how many of those women are mothers, but a large percentage of them are raising children in a home with ongoing domestic violence. That is a sad commentary not only for the victim, but especially for the children. The repercussions of witnessing an abusive parent in action (or both in some instances) are long-lasting, and perhaps lifelong.

Do we stop to consider that verbal and emotional abuse harm children? It can cause scars that will remain within their minds and hearts for their entire lives. Calling a child “stupid” is inexcusable. Leading them to believe they are inferior or dispensable is abuse, plain and simple. While many take exception with me when it comes to my stand on spanking (Yes, I believe there is a time when it is acceptable), I cannot condone striking a child about the face. And especially, there can be no quarter given in any circumstances for one human beating another, regardless of their age, but especially an adult beating a child. There is a wide chasm between correction and battery, and it is one that should never be crossed.

Did you know that 44% of all sexual assault victims are under the age of 18? Have you ever stopped to consider how you might react if a child approached you and shared they were being sexually abused? Or, perhaps you have actually been in such a position before. It might be a parent, clergy, a coach, a teacher… What do you do? Many wonder what actions should be taken if a child shows signs of being a victim of sexual violation. Don’t panic, especially in front of the child. Retaining a state of calm is important. Reassure the child that you do not doubt them, even if you do. Be sure they know you are a safe place for them, that their best interest and safety are at the forefront of your mind and intentions. Do not point a finger and tell them they should not lie or make up such stories. The chances of the molestation actually being true are much greater than you would want to believe.

Past that, I recommend you call Stop CSA (Stop Child Sex Abuse) or RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest Network) or visit their websites. They are the premier specialists on how to handle child abuse. But, in any event, do not ignore it. There is a reason April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, rather than Child Abuse Awareness Month. We are trying to prevent the abuse over and above bringing about a higher level of awareness. I sincerely hope you will come back to read the upcoming posts on child abuse prevention, but more importantly, please do your part.

Will you take some time to read past blogs on child abuse and sexual assault?

Domestic Violence: An 11-year-old’s commentary

Penn State: Why Are the Victims So Ready to Testify Now?

A Sandusky in My Own Back Yard?

For important numbers and links regarding

Child Abuse Prevention Month, CLICK HERE

 

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