Barely four months into the year and the nation has already witnessed too many horrific child abuse cases.
Bella Edwards, Aniya Garrett, and Ashley Zhao are the names of precious children who’s terrible tragedies made headlines all over the world after mistreatment by their own family members left them in fatal circumstances.
While it is heartbreaking to hear the horrible journeys these young bodies went through, it is crucial that these stories continue to get the attention of the world. Unfortunately, there are millions of other children who’s suffer stories never make the news.
As April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we want to increase awareness and prevention techniques. And hopefully there will be a day when we no longer have to witness or hear about these tragedies plaguing our young people.
Types of Child Abuse
Child abuse happens when someone harms a child’s body or emotional health, development, and well-being. There are 4 main types.
Physical abuse means that someone hurts a child’s body or puts her in physical danger. It doesn’t matter if the child gets seriously hurt or if it leaves a mark. Any harm is abuse.
Sexual abuse is any kind sexual activity with a child, not just physical contact. It can include photos or videos, verbal or digital dialogue, flashing and more.
Emotional abuse is a pattern of behaviors that harm a child’s emotional well-being and development. It can include ignoring, constant belittling and threatening and more.
Neglect is when a caregiver doesn’t give the child basic care and protection, such as: food, water, housing and healthy living conditions.
What to Do if You Suspect Abuse
If you suspect child abuse, it’s important to report it. It isn’t a private matter or a family problem. A child’s physical and emotional well-being, and maybe even her life, could be at stake.
You don’t need proof to report abuse. If you suspect it, call your local child protective services, police, a hospital, or a hotline, such as the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453. You don’t have to give your name.
The children are our future. We must take care of them at all costs!
For more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month visit www.childwelfare.gov. Promote the prevention of child abuse by using #NationalChildAbusePreventionMonth on social media.