Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2011

The National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a service of the Children’s Bureau , Administration for Children and Families , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; is providing valuable information and services to help families in the area of Child Abuse Prevention. Please take the time to learn more about it by clicking on the above link. This writer truly supports their efforts.

I am an advocate for all victims who suffer from abuse. Nothing that I advocate against touches me more then in the area of child abuse. Almost five children die everyday as a result of child abuse. More than three out of four are under the age of 4. It is estimated that between 60-85% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. (These stats come from ChildHelp – National Child Abuse Statistics. Child Help was founded by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson. Check out the resource links with this article for more stats and information about child abuse.)

The stats above are all the numbers I am going to give readers of this article. The purpose of those is to introduce my readers to some cold hard facts about Child Abuse. Yes, it is may be for a little shock value. The reality is my readers should already be painfully aware of the facts surrounding Child Abuse. If not, you have been in hiding for a very long time. It appears one way or another through media sources every day in one form or another.

Okay, so I am repeating something which most people should have heard something about. Okay, so why is it still happening in record numbers. Further, why are there still so many people who refuse to report abuse and neglect of children when they see it or suspect it is happening?

Ending the problem is not going to happen. This writer is painfully aware of this fact, but it shouldn’t be hard to convince people to report what they witness. It should not be such a problem to encourage people to protect children by just picking up a telephone. Yet, people are still resistant to reporting episodes or incidents of suspected child abuse which are occurring within their communities.

Working with families, raising awareness in communities, getting professionals to report suspected abuse or neglect, training families in child care, and all the other areas of prevention are important. However, unless neighbors and others within communities report what they see or witness; children who suffer are still left without help.

Children suffer and even die where silence is allowed to survive. The secrecy in all areas of Family Violence keeps the tragedy of violence within homes alive. It makes homes war zones and places of pain, instead of, secure places of love. Children are our greatest gifts. Why is it so hard for many people to take up the fight and tell child abusers they can not continue to hurt our children? If they do, we will rise up and make them suffer the consequences of their actions by reporting them to the authorities.

There should be no need for Mandatory Reporting. People should be doing it willingly. Since many refuse, then we must make it mandatory. Why not make Child Abuse Reporting mandatory for everyone? After all, these are children we are talking about. People will say how much they care about children, but look the other way when they see the obvious signs of abuse in a child.

(If you don’t know the warning signs of child abuse; please visit Child Abuse and Neglect, Joanna Saisan, MSW, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., contributed to this article. It was last reviewed: November 2010. It is on the HELPGUIDE.org helpguide.org website which is funded and put together by Robert & Jeanne Segal.)

In support of the Child Abuse Prevention Month Campaign, we should all get active in and pledge ourselves to do all we can to help keep our children safe. These children exist in every community. Child Abuse crosses all social classes and ethnic backgrounds. Further, lets not just say we will do it this month, but will commit to doing it as long as children are suffering.

Lets all support the Child Abuse Prevention Month Campaign, but let’s not forget those who are suffering from the wrath of loved ones. We must hold those who hurt our children accountable for the pain and suffering they cause.

As long as children are still dying as a result of Child Abuse, there will be a need for reporting what is seen. Help our children by taking a firm stand against those who choose to hurt them. Isn’t saving children worth the effort?

I want to congratulate all those who work to fight against Child Abuse, and those who are working in campaigns during the National Child Abuse Prevention Month. For those want more information about what it is all about; please click on the link above.

Helping abused children and preventing Child Abuse should be something we all take part in. No one should ever say, “I don’t want to get involved where children are concerned. There is no excuse for not helping our children. They are our future and deserve to be safe.