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  • Marc Rovner

Steps to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

In the United States, at least one out of every seven children has been subjected to child abuse and/or neglect in the previous year. The most frequent child abuse kind is neglect, followed by physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. In 2018, around 16 percent of children were subjected to more than one form of abuse.

Who is Affected by Abuse?

Abuse of children can occur in any home and spans all socioeconomic, cultural, racial, and religious lines. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, the incidence is greater in families with parents in their mid-twenties, who are financially strained, in distress due to losing a job or a house, dealing with alcohol or substance misuse issues, and with spouse abuse.

Parents and Child Abuse

The parents are the first line of defense when it comes to avoiding child abuse and neglect. Children should be nurtured by their parents and should make each child understand that they are unique, cherished, and capable of achieving their goals. Unfortunately, not all parents are like this. Many parents are found neglecting child feeding, sleep, or care.

Before disciplining a child for doing something wrong, parents must ensure that they are not overreacting from anger. They should set clear guidelines for children regarding punishment so that they know what to anticipate. If a parent is afraid about hitting their child, they should call a child abuse prevention hotline. For the safety of children, homes should be violence-free zones. Parents should prevent violent television shows and should not allow children to live with abusive adults.

Educators and Child Abuse

Another adult may help out by taking care of the kids so that their parents can relax or spend quality time together. Educators are also important in keeping children safe from sexual abuse. By developing and implementing preventative policies and procedures in school environments, they can increase student support for recognizing and reporting abuse and nurturing kids' safety. In addition, educators should understand their role in children's protection, and support can assist keep them safe from harm.

According to, 90 percent of child sexual abusers are familiar with the victim's family. Vulnerable children suffering from abuse by a family member may be hesitant to report it to a parent or another adult at home, preferring to confide in an adult at school with whom they feel safe. This is why it's critical for educators to know what to say and do when a kid reports abuse. They should ensure children feel protected and tell those who report abuse that they did the right thing. This type of reaction can go a long way toward reducing the anxiety, guilt, worry, and other unpleasant feelings that children may have during and after reporting.

Who Can Help Prevent Abuse?

Every adult in the community has a responsibility to keep children safe. Long before any changes in physical appearance, children's conduct or behavior may indicate abuse or neglect. If an adult believes that abuse or neglect is taking place, they should immediately contact 911 and report it. They should also contact their local child welfare agency or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, which may be reached at 1-800-422-4453.

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