Pups for Prevention

Hello guys!

This month of April is that time when things get warmer and the sun is out longer. More and more kids will be looking forward to the end of the school year. All they can probably think about right now is that freedom they are about to have to hang out and enjoy the company of friends and family as well as possibly going on a relaxing vacation.

With that said, it is important to know that April is also the month to spread awareness regarding child abuse. With schools coming to a close, it becomes increasingly difficult to notice abuse since children are not always fully supervised the way they are in schools. Teachers are known as mandatory reporters. Therefore, they must report any signs of abuse right away.

In order to protect your child and be fully aware of abuse, here are a few facts:

Facts:

  • 22% of children abused are under 8 years old
  • The average age of abused children is 9 years old
  • It is likely that you know an abuser
    • 34% are abused by family members
    • 59% are abused by someone the family thinks is trustworthy
    • Many young children are often abused by older children
  • Those wanting to sexually abuse a child will use places with easy access to children
    • Sometimes judged as being good with children
    • Examples of places are: sports leagues, faith centers, clubs, etc.

Safety Tips:

  • try to look for group situations instead of placing a child alone with one adult
  • drop in unexpectedly when your child is alone with an adult
  • monitor children’s internet use to minimize unwanted contact with strangers

Important:

  • Children often do not report their abuse because:
    • They are afraid of disappointing parents and disrupting the family
    • The abuser may threaten the child / family
    • The abuser shames the child
    • The child is ashamed to tell when it happens again
    • They are too young to understand the abuse thinking that it is “okay” or just a “game”

It is important to know how to communicate with your child and to talk openly with them.

Resource: “Kids First Child Abuse Treatment and Prevention Center.” 7 Ways to Prevent Child Abuse – Kids First Child Abuse Treatment and Prevention Center, www.kidsfirstinc.org/preventing-abuse.