Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month

If you see it, then you are witnessing a cry for immediate help. Usually, you do not witness child abuse. It happens behind closed doors and it happens in such a sadistic way that even when out in public, you will not see it unless a story is changing.

I was abused as a child and even the caseworkers that came to visit periodically did not know. And of course, they will ask you this RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ADULT that you are living with, who is the one abusing you! "Is everything going well?"
Guess what? A child will always say, everything is fine. Great.

I remember as a child I left that foster parent at the age of 9 or so and walked many miles to another town to the office of child care and told them I wasn't going back. I was so scared that I would hide in bushes when I heard a vehicle coming down the road.

Really, if you see something, say something. It's your business to provide help.

Child abuse and neglect are significant public health problems in the United States.

In 2016, more than 1,750 children died in the United States from abuse and neglect.

According to child protective service agencies, about 676,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2016, although this number likely underestimates the true occurrence.

One in 4 children has experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives and 1 in 7 experienced abuse or neglect in the past year.

Exposure to child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) causes toxic stress that can disrupt early brain development and harm the nervous and immune systems.

Exposure to childhood adversity can increase a person’s risk for future violence, unhealthy behaviors, poor health, and wellness, and limit life opportunities. This impact can be long-lasting and may continue across future generations.

Risk Factors for Perpetration
Parents’ lack of understanding of children’s needs, child development, and parenting skills

Parental history of child abuse and or neglect
Substance abuse and/or mental health issues, including depression, in the family

Parental characteristics such as young age, low education, single parenthood, a large number of dependent children, and low income

Nonbiological, transient caregivers in the home (e.g., mother’s male partner)

Parental thoughts and emotions that tend to support or justify maltreatment behaviors

Social isolation

Family disorganization, dissolution, and violence, including intimate partner violence

Parenting stress, poor parent-child relationships, and negative interactions

Child Abuse Prevention
The goal in preventing child abuse and neglect is to stop the violence from happening in the first place. A safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for all children and families can help to prevent abuse and give children a positive future and a chance at being a successful individual.

  • Get to know the people your children interact with
  • Teach your child that their voice matters. 
  • Ask questions  that are intuitive
  • Listen when your child tells you he or she doesn’t want to be with someone, this could be a red flag.
  • You are your child's first line of defense, so listen to them and believe what they say.
  • Be aware of changes in your child’s behavior or attitude and be curious with them about it.
  • Teach your child the correct names of their private body parts.
  • Be alert for any talk that reveals premature sexual understanding.
  • Pay attention when someone shows greater than normal interest in your child.
  • Do not discipline a child when you are angry. 

To learn more about child abuse prevention call 1-800-4-A-CHILD® (1-800-422-4453).
The 24/7 hotline is staffed with professional counselors who offer information about child abuse prevention, as well as crisis intervention, literature, and a huge variety of other support resources.

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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