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National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Since 1983, April has been National Child Abuse Prevention month. It is a time to raise awareness of child abuse and to band together families and communities in an effort to prevent child abuse. The goal of this month is to give all children the chance to grow up in a loving and caring environment which will help them grow up to be healthy, functioning adults.

Every year, more than three million reports of child abuse are made which is an overwhelming number. Four out of five abusers are the child parents with the next most common being another close relative. Although you hear about physical abuse the most, negligence is actually the most prevalent form of child abuse making up three quarters of all abuse. Young children have a higher chance of being abused and it will start within the first year of life.

Physical signs are the easiest way to deduce if your child is being abused. The physical signs of abuse are any injury that can’t be explained or any genital trauma. Certain behavioral changes can signify abuse such as fearful behavior, abdominal pain, bedwetting, changes in self-confidence, passive or aggressive behavior, or desperate affectionate behavior or social withdrawal. Children that are abused can have long-lasting effects such as violent behavior, depression, or suicidal behavior.

If you suspect that your child may be being abused you can reach out to your pediatrician or a child help agency. Pediatricians are legally obligated to report abuse to the police. You should in no way hold off on reporting it if you suspect that your child or another child might be suffering from abuse. Close supervision of activities is a great way to prevent abuse. Children are precious and deserve to be protected at all costs. Everyone can work together to prevent child abuse.

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