Below are just a few ways to prevent child abuse!!
1. Be a good example.
Respect your family members. Use a courteous tone of voice with them. When children misbehave, let them know that you dislike what they did, not who they are. Don’t hit your kids; violence teaches violence. Apologize when you’re wrong. Say “I love you” more often. Reward good behavior.
2. Take action…don’t wait for someone else to do it!
Arrange for a speaker on child abuse and neglect to come to your PTA, church, club, or workplace. The more we all know about abuse and neglect, the more we can do to stop it.
3. Learn to recognize the signs of abuse.
Know the signs of neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse listed at the bottom of this page. Know them.
4. Understand which children are most likely to be abused.
Although child abuse occurs in all racial, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic groups, physical abuse and neglect are more likely among people living in poverty. Children who are most likely to be abused are children who are mentally retarded, premature, unwanted, stubborn, inquisitive, demanding, or have a disability.
5. Learn more about child abuse and child abuse prevention.
Teach others. Plan an adult education program in your church, club, or organization to inform people about children’s needs. Open your group’s facility to local education programs for parents.
6. Report suspected child abuse and neglect.
Call your local law enforcement agency if you think a child is being neglected, sexually abused, or physically or emotionally abused. Children are hardly ever abused only once. If you suspect it, you must report it. That’s the law. Reporting suspected child abuse makes it possible for a family to get help.
Information gathered from: Child Advocacy Center
SIGNS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
1. Nightmares, sleeping problems
2. Changes in eating habits
3. Self-Mutilation (cutting or burning) adolescents
4. Outburst of Anger
5. Regressing to younger behaviors, e.g. bed wetting
6. Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects
7. Not wanting to be alone with a particular child, young person or adult
8. Unaccountable fear of particular places or people
9. Becoming withdrawn or very clingy
10. Becoming unusually secretive
***Any one sign doesn’t mean that a child was or is being sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you should begin to ask questions and consider seeking help***