What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse
Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that
child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage, and religious
faith. The incidence is higher, however, in families in which the parents are in their
mid-20s; high school dropouts or lack a high school diploma; below the poverty level
or financially stressed; stressed because of a loss of job or home; or have a history
of intergenerational abuse, alcohol, or substance abuse problems, a history of depression,
or spouse abuse.
Prevent Child Abuse America offers these tips for stopping child abuse:
Try to understand your children. Learn how kids behave and what they can do at different
ages. Have realistic expectations and be reasonable if children fall short.
Keep your children healthy. Denying children food, sleep, or healthcare is abuse by
Get help with alcohol or drug problems. Keep children away from anyone who abuses
Watch your words. Angry or punishing language can leave emotional scars for a lifetime.
Get control of yourself before disciplining a child. Set clear rules so the child
knows what to expect. Avoid physical punishment.
Take a time-out. Stop if you begin to act out frustration or other emotions physically.
Find someone to talk with or watch your kids while you take a walk. Call a child abuse
prevention hotline if you are worried you may hit your child.
Make your home a violence-free zone. Turn off violent TV shows and don't let kids
stay under the same roof with an abusive adult.
Join a support program for new parents.
Take regular breaks from your children. This will give you a release from the stress
of parenting full-time.
Remember that child abuse often repeats itself in the next generation. By doing what
you can to prevent it today, you can help save children's lives far into the future.