Thursday, April 19, 2012

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

     In the Month of April we are spreading the word of Child Abuse Prevention.  This is a personal and hard subject for me to deal with, not because I was abused but I can't understand how a parent would or could do this to their own child.  In this post I will share with some statistics, common types of abuse, and prevention methods for these children.

Here are 4 types of common child abuse
  • Physical abuse occurs when a caregiver (parent, babysitter, coach, teacher, etc) hits a child.  Some people will tell you that spanking your child is a type of physical abuse but I disagree.  My parents spanked me out of love and I too have spanked my own children but again out of love!  I have never hit one of my children with a closed fist nor have I ever caused any bruising.  You can spank your child in a manner that the child knows why you are doing it, and without any physical harm to the child.
  • Sexual abuse is just that!  When someone of any age is sexually abused they are being deceived into having sex generally with someone they know and love dearly.  They are told that it is a secret between the child and the abuser, and that they should not tell anyone because they wouldn't understand.
  • emotional abuse occurs from a parent or anyone for that matter that is in the position of caring for a child, yells and screams at them and tells them they are worthless, no good, and will never be anything.  In some ways I myself have been guilty of the emotional abuse in the past but I strive everyday to give my children positive notes, love and hugs rather than the negative.  No one young or old want to constantly hear bad things about themselves or anyone else for that matter.
  • neglect is when you have $50.00 in your pocket and you go buy beer, a lottery tickets knowing you have no food in your house and the kids are hungry.  If you ask a lot of kids today they will tell you that they are neglected because they can't have chocolate, or sodas all the time. My children don't know what it is like to be hungry and not be able to get some food.  They don't wear name brand jeans but they have nice and clean clothes to wear everyday.  We have a cool house in the summer months and a warm home in the winter months. 

     Here is a poem I would like to share with all of my readers, I have read this numerous of times and it tears me apart every time I read it:

My name is Sarah
I am but three,
my eyes are swollen
I cannot see.

I must be stupid,
I must be bad,
what else could have made
my daddy
so mad?

I wish I were better,
I wish I weren't ugly,

then maybe my Mommy
would still want to hug me.

I can't speak at all,
I can't do a wrong
or else I'm locked up
all the day long.

When I awake I'm all alone
the house is dark
my folks aren't home.

When my Mommy does come
I'll try and be nice,

so maybe I'll get just
one whipping tonight.

Don't make a sound!
I just heard a car
my daddy is back
from Charlie's Bar.

I hear him curse
my name he calls
I press myself
against the wall.

I try and hide
from his evil eyes
I'm so afraid now
I'm starting to cry.

He finds me weeping
he shouts ugly words,
he says its my fault

that he suffers at work.

He slaps me and hits me
and yells at me more,
I finally get free
and I run for the door.

He's already locked it
and I start to bawl,
he takes me and throws me
against the hard wall.

I fall to the floor
with my bones nearly broken,
and my daddy continues
with more bad words spoken.

'I'm sorry!' I scream
but its now much too late
his face has been twisted
into unimaginable hate.

The hurt and the pain
again and again
oh please God, have mercy!
oh please let it end!

And he finally stops
and heads for the door,
while I lay there motionless
sprawled on the floor.

My name is Sarah
and I am but three,
tonight my daddy
murdered me.

There are millions of children in the world - just like Sarah. And you can help!

It sickens me to read this and view these images. It's a violation of everything that we as human beings stand for. This will disturb even the toughest of the tough! And because you are affected, you can do something about it!! This is real, it happens, it is happening everywhere in the world today. People like Sarah's father do live in our society. If every concerned person makes an effort to contribute either by time, resources or donations, we can make a difference in the lives of those little people who cannot speak for themselves. You can help to change a child's life!


Listed below are things you can do to help prevent child abuse (from Darkness to Light website -
  1. Learn the facts about child abuse and understand the risks.
    1. Read a book, attend a class, or look online to see how many children are affected by the different types of child maltreatment.
    2. Abusers are often people the family trusts; they look and act just like everyone else.
  2. Minimize the opportunities for abuse to occur.
    1. Avoid situations where a child is alone with an adult – and avoid one-adult/one-child situations with children other than your own.
    2. Monitor the Internet use of children so that they aren’t lured into inappropriate activities.
  3. Talk about abuse
    1. Talk openly to your child and understand why children may be scared to tell someone about abuse.
    2. Talk to other adults about child abuse. This helps raise the consciousness of your community and influences their choices about child safety, while also putting potential abusers on notice that you are paying attention.
  4. Stay alert to the signs of abuse.
    1. Read a book, attend a class, or look online to determine the signs (physical and emotional/behavioral) of the different types of child maltreatment, while also understanding that some children may not display any signs
  5. Know what to do if you suspect the abuse or neglect of a child.
    1. Your reaction to suspected child maltreatment can determine how the child responds so it’s important not to overreact.
    2. Provide support to the child.
    3. Report suspected child maltreatment to appropriate authorities, either by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD or by calling local child protective services or law enforcement agencies in your community.
  6. Act on suspicions.
    1. Even if you don’t have proof but you suspect abuse has occurred/is occurring, you should report it. If you want to talk to staff about whether or not to report, you can call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD.
  7. Get involved in your communities.
    1. Meet and greet your neighbors and organize/participate in activities in your neighborhood
    2. Go to a parents’ meeting or volunteer at your child’s school or run for an office in the parent organization at your child’s school
    3. Participate in an activity at your local library or community center
    4. Attend local government meetings (city council or school board meetings) and let them know how important resources are in your community. Let them know how parks, strong schools, and accessible services help to strengthen your family and other families
    5. Support legislation that protects children.
    6. Call and write your members of Congress.
    7. Write letters to your newspaper.