What You Can Do: Reach Out
Anything you do to support kids and parents can help reduce the stress that often leads to abuse and neglect.
- Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to baby-sit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.
- Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.
- Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another's children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.
- Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.
- Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families, like parent support groups or day care centers.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Recognizing Child Abuse: What You Should Know (pdf)
- An Approach to Preventing Child Abuse (pdf)
- Ten Ways to Help Prevent Child Abuse (pdf)
- Twelve Alternatives to Lashing Out at Your Child (pdf)
Warning Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect
In the USA, an estimated 906,000 children are victims of abuse and neglect every year. Whether the abuse is physical, emotional, sexual or neglect, the scars can be deep and long lasting, often leading to future child abuse.
Sadly, child abuse is much more common then you might think. Yet it is still inexcusable. Child abuse happens in many different ways, yet the result is the same — serious physical harm, as well as emotional harm, which damage a child’s sense of self and the ability to create healthy relationships.