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It’s often been said that it takes a village to raise a child. Likewise, it often takes a village to ensure the safety of children. All of us must take an active role.
What can we do to stop child abuse from occurring?
If You Suspect that Child Abuse is Taking Place, Report It.
IF ABUSE IS ACTIVELY TAKING PLACE, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait to make this call.
Don’t worry that you may be overreacting – it is the job of law enforcement to assess the situation.
You may be the only chance that a child has against abuse, sexual assault, and even death.
If you see evidence that child abuse may have taken place recently (but the abuse is not occurring at the moment), call child protective services and report your concerns. It is clear job and obligation to then probably take whatever action is prudent, including calling law enforcement. Again, do not worry that you may be overreacting. If you suspect abuse, there is a good chance that abuse has occurred.
Encourage Others to Report Abuse
In society, there is often a tendency for people to think that if there is something wrong, someone else will fix it. This same thought can hold true for reporting suspected child abuse.
Often, people will not want to get involved with reporting suspected child abuse because of the following thoughts:
- What if I’m wrong?
- I’m sure that a teacher, counselor, or other professional will report it.
- What happens if the parents find out that I was the one who made the call?
We must be vigilant in looking out for suspected abuse, and, as a society, having discussions about reporting suspected abuse. This is the only way that abuse can be stopped. Children should not have to pay the price for years of the abuse because adults didn’t want to be bothered to have to report it.
Contact Your Lawmakers and Representatives
lawmakers and representatives tend to take up the actions that are the most concern to their constituents. They must also have to determine how limited state funds will be allocated. When sufficient funding is not allocated towards the prevention of child abuse, and when those at state agencies do not take the proper action to ensure that employees and their departments are fulfilling their jobs, change is necessary.
We are the voice of the abused in court after the abuse has taken place. You can be the voice that will prevent or limit abuse in the first place.
Make your lawmakers demand accountability from those charged with keeping our children safe from abuse.
Perhaps you have a desire to become a foster parent. If so, please take the steps necessary to learn more about this process. But there are many other ways that you can become involved to help prevent child abuse.
You can become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). CASAs are assigned by and report to the court to advocate on behalf of those in foster care.
You can become a volunteer. There are many agencies and nonprofit organizations that promote child welfare and attempt to stop the cycles of abuse that occur. For instance, some organizations mentor young parents who may have come from difficult circumstances (such as having been abused themselves). These organizations teach such parents important life skills about how to properly care for their children without resorting to abuse and difficult times.