April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
It is a month to raise awareness and bring forth one of the leading concerns of the nation - Child Abuse. Let the spirit of the month inspire each one of us to jointly work towards preventing child abuse. Many children are victims of abuse and neglect and prevention is the key force in reducing violence. Scientifically child abuse has been linked to various medical, emotional and behavioral disorders. Imagine kids losing the happiest times of their lives - their innocence, creativity, curiosity, imagination and play being scarred by lifelong evils of fear, depression, stress, aggression and anxiety.
It’s high time we collectively raise our voices for the innocent victims of child abuse and support a cause to build loving homes where children feel loved, treasured and valued.
A conscious act from your side can make a big difference in a child's life. Nothing can be more rewarding and fulfilling. By getting involved you can definitely change a life!
Help us in our mission to prevent child abuse because every child matters !
Child Abuse and Neglect Are Preventable
There are many ways you can join the movement to support child abuse prevention:
Teach children their rights- When children are taught they have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault, and more likely to report an offender.
Educate yourself about infant crying - It can be quite distressing to look after an inconsolable baby. No matter how upset you are, never shake your baby. Understand and learn about the crying characteristics of normal infant.
Practice thoughtful discipline - Never act in anger. When disciplining your child, always make it something that they understand and learn from.
Model good behavior - Be a nurturing parent, play and talk with your child. Children need to be cared for and loved, they look up to adults for guidance. Be a role model by paying attention to your words and actions during conflicts, because children are easily influenced.
Be strong, not stressed- Parenting can be a joyful and rewarding experience but it can also be very stressful. Be resilient as a parent in managing stress and functioning well even when faced with adversity. Actively participate in parent and child development programs. When you get stressed, take a break. Don’t take it out on your children.
Monitor your child’s television and computer use -
Watching violent films on TV or playing violent computer games can harm young children. Not only does it scare them, it also teaches children that aggression is a good way to handle frustration and solve problems. Help your kids to be safe when online.
Promote sexual abuse prevention
- Teach your child the difference between appropriate/inappropriate touching. Help them understand about their body parts. Explain that no one should ever touch the body parts that are private, or covered by swimsuits, unless it is a parent or a caregiver when cleaning the child or a doctor examining the child with a parent present. Discourage keeping secrets. Establish a relationship of trust with your child.
Ways you can help
Educate yourself and others - Teaching children, parents, teachers, coaches, and other adults working with children prevention strategies can help to keep children safe.
Know what child abuse is- Child abuse and neglect includes all types of abuse or neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent or caregiver that results in harm or potential harm. There are four common types of abuse.
• Physical abuse is the use of physical force, such as hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other shows of force against a child.
• Sexual abuse involves engaging a child in sexual acts. It includes behaviors such as fondling, penetration, and exposing a child to other sexual activities.
• Emotional abuse refers to behaviors that harm a child's self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name calling, shaming, rejection, withholding love, and threatening.
• Neglect is the failure to meet a child's basic physical and emotional needs. These needs include housing, food, clothing, education, and access to medical care.
Know the signs - Unexplained injuries aren't the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused
Extend support to vulnerable children and their families, offer to baby sit, or start a playgroup.
Advocate programs that contribute to creating healthy, safe and nurturing experiences for children.
Volunteer your time for local abuse prevention and parenting programs. Support prevention programs such as family counseling.
Donate money to local child abuse organizations. Your contribution will definitely make a difference. It will help these organizations fund their programs and build a stronger support system.
Report abuse - If you ever suspect a child is being neglected or abused call the child abuse hotline immediately.
Speak up for the little voices,
Take a step forward for their tiny feet,
Stand up for their innocence,
Raise your hand for their safety !