It’s April, and that entails many things such as Easter, prom, and Earth Day. However, what most people don’t know is that it’s also child abuse prevention month.
What is Child Abuse?
According to the Mayo Clinic, child abuse is the intentional mistreatment of a person under 18 years. There are many forms of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, medical, and neglect. Physical abuse involves physical injury. Sexual abuse involves sexual contact or exposure to inappropriate material. Emotional abuse involves belittling or damaging the child’s self-esteem. Medical abuse involves giving inaccurate information about an illness. This then submits the child to unnecessary harm. Neglect is the failure to supply a child with basic needs such as clothing, food, security, love, supervision, education, and health.
How to Identify Child Abuse?
According to the same source, a child’s actions can help in identifying abuse. The child may withdraw from friends, experience a decline in school performance, depression, anxiety, miss school, refuse to go home, try to run away, inflict self-harm, attempt suicide, or become rebellious. However, these behaviors on their own do not always indicate abuse. It is still important to take them into consideration, for they could be signs of other disruptions.
Why Prevent Child Abuse?
According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, child abuse is linked to later physical, psychological, and behavioral issues. These issues then bleed out into society in the form of higher crime rates and lower academic achievement. This then leads to a less functioning society.
How to Prevent Child Abuse?
Prevention relies on the vigilance of the surrounding society. If you are a concerned individual, you must look out for the signs identified in paragraph three. Remember you have to be mindful by keeping an eye out for signs, compassionate and reaching out to victims., and take action by notifying authorities.
Child abuse is a serious issue that affects many children. It is a travesty that it even occurs, but, there are some actions we can take to help mitigate it. By being conscious of it, compassionate towards victims, and taking action, we can curb its frequency.