April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
At this time, many people are fearful and anxious with the events surrounding COVID-19. This unseen enemy has affected our livelihoods and wellbeing. During these time of uncertainty, I want to appeal to you to care for and protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children. The data is conclusive that when there is a major crisis, in this case a world pandemic, child abuse increases. Many parents are overwhelmed with the need to provide food and shelter, in light of being unemployed/ underemployed and they are required to homeschool with little or no training. Not in our recent history have children and teens been sheltered in their homes with little or no physical contact with their extended family, friends and teachers. This makes for a potential toxic and harmful environment for innocent children who depend on their parents and other caring adults for a healthy existence.
Children’s limited outside contact with others inhibits the detection of abuse. Schools have personnel who are trained to detect and report child abuse. The latest reports in the media indicates that child abuse is sadly increasing. No child deserves to be hurt or neglected. We know also well that children are violently injured physically, emotionally and killed by the hands of their parents and or caretakers. According to TexProtects, in Texas, more than 3 children die from abuse or neglect on average every week, 182children are confirmed victims daily, and more than 7 children are maltreated every hour.
There are four basic types of child abuse. Children being abused are likely to experience more than just one type of abuse:
- Neglect:Failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, medical, or emotional needs. Leaving a young child home alone or failing to provide needed medical care may also be considered neglect. Over 80% of child abuse cases in Texas and in the U.S. are the result of neglect.
- Physical Abuse:A physical injury that results in substantial harm to the child, such as bruises, fractures, or death. It also can include a genuine threat of harm even if there is no visible injury.
- Emotional Abuse: An action that results in a marked impact on a child's growth, development, or psychological functioning. Emotional abuse includes extreme forms of punishment such as confining a child in a dark closet, habitual scapegoating, or belittling to the point that it results in noticeable effects on the child's daily functioning.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual conduct harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare. This includes fondling a child’s genitals, penetration, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or producing pornography.
How you can help?
- If you see or suspect child abuse call the child abuse hotline: 1800 -252-5400.
- Check in on your family, friends and neighbors with school age children offer assistance when it’s feasible.
- Volunteer your time in schools and community based organization who provide vital services for our children.
- Support legislation that provide the legal support to protect our children.
- Always provide love and care to children. They are precious to God and to the future of our world.
Partial Reprint: TexProtects.org
Stay Safe and Healthy,