April is national child abuse prevention month! Remember, it’s the responsibility of adults like us to keep children safe.
A YEAR OF RECKONING WITH EPIDEMICS
When the Disease is Child Abuse, What is the Cure?
April is here once again. This time last year, we were just beginning to stay home to prevent Covid’s spread. We couldn’t yet know what a far-reaching impact this disease would have on our lives. A year later, over 500,000 American lives have been lost, and many more have been severely compromised by the pandemic’s effects on nearly every aspect of family and civic life.
Among those most traumatically affected by Covid have been children. As we’ve detailed in numerous PiPSpeaks over the past year, the safety and well-being of kids has been deeply compromised by the difficulties wrought by the pandemic. In our May 5th, 2020 PiPSpeak, Abuse Spikes in Time of Crisis, we reported that children faced increased risk of abuse, since stay-at-home orders prevented them from seeing teachers, doctors, and other mandated reporters of abuse. In our May 27, 2020 PiPSpeak, we discussed how increased financial and emotional stress on families caused by the crisis was resulting in additional risk of abuse at home.
With all of this in mind, it’s more important than ever to move forward toward practical solutions. Much can be learned from our collective experiences of Covid-19 that can help us move closer to our mission of ending the epidemic of child abuse and neglect. After all, the CDC considers Child Abuse and Neglect a public health emergency, not so different from contagious diseases. Our reckonings with Covid-19 have taught us that a combination of strategies can be useful in preventing its spread, and child abuse prevention is similar.
To effectively counter Covid-19, we’ve absorbed information about the dangers of the disease, we’ve paid attention to how it spreads, and we’ve learned to recognize the symptoms when they appear. With child abuse, we must become aware of the dangers, the causes, and the telltale signs that indicate when
child abuse or neglect may be occurring.
REPORTING AND TREATMENT
Those who have suffered from Covid report symptoms to their doctor, and in more severe cases, have needed to receive treatment or hospitalization. Child abuse and neglect also require reporting and treatment, and it is up to the adults in the child’s community to recognize those symptoms of abuse and report them to the agencies that can help.
PREVENTION AND INOCULATION
Preventing Covid’s spread is possible via public education on social distancing, masking, hand-washing, and vaccination. Prevention of child abuse is possible with consistent education of kids and adults. Healthy communication in families and communities about what abuse is, how to recognize it, and when to speak up about it will build the awareness that is needed to end the abuse epidemic.
ADULTS LIKE US
Recognizing and Reporting Abuse is the Responsibility of All Adults
As children begin to return to school and to other public places and activities, it is critical that adults in the community take responsibility for kids’ safety by paying attention for signs of neglect or abuse. Extra vigilance is needed at this time, since many children have had very little interaction outside of their home for a year. Our updated Adults Like Us guide helps us recognize the risks to children during and beyond the Covid pandemic, familiarize ourselves with the signs that a child may not be safe, and listen and react appropriately if we become aware of an abusive or neglectful situation.
Please download the resource below and share with your friends, family, and community. Remember, it is our responsibility as adults in the community to keep kids safe.
NEW EDUCATIONAL VIDEO SERIES!
Building Tools to Keep Kids Safe
We are excited to introduce a new series of Educational Videos for kids and adults! These videos, available now in our Resource Library, make it easier than ever to teach kids, parents, teachers, and other community leaders about safety awareness. We have lessons for children about Safety Words and lessons for adults about how to use our Safety Awareness Education Kit to teach kids about body boundaries, safety rules, when to tell a secret, and how to help keep themselves safe.
View all four videos now in our Resource Library or on our YouTube channel, and stay tuned for more interactive resources coming soon. If you’d like to partner with us on building this series, don’t hesitate to reach out!
PREVENTION IS SOCIAL
Learn About Abuse Prevention Straight From Your Feed
Are you following us on our social channels? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for important child abuse prevention information and tools that you can share with your friends and neighbors! And don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing lists to receive all of our PiPSpeaks and Newsletters!
MORE INTERACTIVE TOOLS COMING SOON
The Future of Child Abuse Prevention
Our new Educational Video Series is just the beginning! Stay tuned for more interactive Safety Awareness Education materials and online educational games coming soon, and let us know if you would like to partner with us in creating new tools! Thank you for being a Partner in Prevention!