Prevent Child Abuse
Child abuse leaves more than just bruises. Long after children have recovered from the physical results of a beating, abused children suffer from emotional and psychological trauma that can last the rest of their lives.
Adults who experience child abuse in their youth are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, commit violent crimes, form unhealthy relationships, and even abuse their own children.
Unfortunately, many bystanders witness child abuse and do nothing about it. Neighbors and friends may hear or even see child abuse happening, but don't want to intrude or interfere with "the rights" of the parents. Such inaction can mean years of pain and heartbreak for young children who are unable to get out of a bad situation.
Abused children need your intervention. In their helplessness, they must rely on capable adults who are willing to take a stand and get them out of an abusive environment. By being aware of child abuse, and helping to educate the people you know, you can help prevent child abuse in your community.
I Did This!
Learn about child abuse. Educate yourself by reviewing the Child Abuse Fact Sheet. Also, keep these key facts in mind:
Educate your neighbors and friends about child abuse. Consider emailing your acquaintances a link to this article and the child abuse fact sheet. Or, ask an official from a local domestic violence shelter to speak to your neighborhood group, church association, PTA, or other organization. They are usually more than willing to share what they know about how to prevent child abuse.
Make sure your acquaintances know that they can get help if they find themselves in a situation where they could become an abuser. It is often difficult for abusers to get help because they are afraid of losing their children and don't want to be judged by the people they know. Abusers can get the help they need by:
Stop child abuse when you see it. If you have trouble identifying the difference between child abuse and acceptable forms of discipline, take a look at the government's definition of child abuse. If you're concerned that a child may be abused, it's better to be safe than sorry. Here's what you can do:
It's time that people take a stand against child abuse. Your simple actions will help prevent child abuse and give abused children hope for a brighter future.
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