Child abuse is an epidemic that has been sweeping across the world for centuries. The United States is sadly one of the leading industrialized nations in the number of children suffering from this abuse. According to Childhelp, the United States loses between four and seven children every day due to abuse and neglect.
These statistics can be debilitating, unsettling and downright depressing, and rightly so. Many individuals recognize the severity of this issue but do not know how they can personally help the situation, especially if they don’t personally know any children suffering from such abuse.
Even though it can be hard to pinpoint children who are being abused or recognize signs of it in public, there are some ways that you can prevent child abuse.
- Volunteer at a local organization: With a little research, you will come to find that your local community likely has some sort of child abuse prevention center or program. You can find out about specific volunteering opportunities by calling 1.800.CHILDREN. This could either put you in close contact with these affected children or allow you to play a background role in the prevention of such cruelty.
- Educate yourself and others: Nobody expects you to be an undercover social worker every time you leave your house. However, there are some ways you can educate yourself and others about some of the warning signs that a child may be suffering from abuse. You can take advantage of free resources online or in your local library, attend informational sessions and choose to mentor others in this fashion. In a sensitive matter such as child abuse, it is important that more and more individuals learn the warning signs so that the issue can be tackled at large.
- Report abuse: If you suspect abuse, it is important that you use your resources to report it. These children often do not have a voice for themselves and may not even have access to a phone or trustworthy adult. You can report abuse to your local child protection services or the police.
- Examine the way you discipline your own children: When thinking of child abuse, it can be difficult to wrap your head around how any adult could have learned that their behavior is correct. Oftentimes, the abuser grew up in some sort of abusive situation or could be under the influence of drugs. Whether you are a current parent or are wanting to be one in the future, it is important that you examine your parenting style and also educate your children on the correct way to discipline. This looks like calming yourself down prior to disciplining your child and teaching them healthy behaviors. Your parenting example can play a pivotal role in how your children treat their children and so forth.