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Child abuse and neglect is a large problem globally. The CDC states that in the past year, approximately 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect. On average in the United States, 5 children die from child abuse and neglect each day, 70% of those children are 3 years old or younger.

What is child abuse and neglect? 

Child abuse and neglect applies to any child under the age of 18. Federal laws defines child abuse and neglect as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or “an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.” 

The three types of abuse include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.  

Physical abuse is any physical force like shaking, kicking, or hitting that is inflicted intentionally and results in injury. 

Sexual abuse refers to when a child is forced or pressured into participating in sexual acts. This also refers to when a child is unwillingly exposed to any sexual encounter or activity. 

Emotional abuse: can be any kind of negative behavior that diminishes a child’s emotional well-being or self-worth.  

In addition to abuse, neglect is where a child fails to be cared for properly. Basic needs are withheld from them intentionally or not met at all for whatever reason. This includes basic emotional and physical needs like clothes, food, housing, or emotional support.

Together we can prevent child abuse and neglect! 

 

Participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Month 

The month of April is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The goal of this month is to recognize the organizations, communities, families, and people who consistently work on a regular basis to prevent child abuse and neglect. Additionally, this month is also about honoring and paying tribute to the innocent lives that are lost each day as a result of child abuse and neglect. 

If you are an individual who wants to get involved in helping prevent this epidemic, April is a great time to help spread awareness and advocate for children who can’t advocate for themselves. Take time to learn about the consequences of child abuse and neglect, and report any suspected instances of child abuse or neglect to the authorities or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline.  

Support Childhelp 

Childhelp is one of the amazing organizations whose mission is solely dedicated to creating a safer, abuse free world for all children. They work towards achieving their mission through multiple avenues like advocacy, intervention, community outreach, treatment, and prevention. Childhelp implements, runs, and funds a multitude of resources, centers, and programs all geared towards healing and empowering children to reach their fullest potential, safely.  

Childhelp also oversees the National Child Abuse Hotline, a safe and secure hotline where anyone can file a report, ask questions, or receive additional support regarding child abuse and neglect.  

Another way to get involved and contribute to the prevention of child abuse and neglect is by making a donation to help fund organizations, like Childhelp, achieve their goals to protect and support abused children. 

Learn More About Child Abuse and Neglect 

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – one of the leaders in the fight against child exploitation, abduction, and abuse. They provide great information on issues surrounding child exploitation, oversee reports on missing children in the US, and run a tip line where individuals can make reports regarding exploitation of a child. 

Child Welfare Information Gateway – a federal source that provides access to resources and information that are intended to strengthen families and protect children. 

Children’s Safety Network – a National Injury and Violence Prevention Resource Center “that provides resources and technical assistance to maternal and child health agencies and organizations seeking to reduce unintentional injuries and violence toward children and adolescents.” 

Additional Safety Resources 

Childhelp National Abuse Hotline – available 24/7 by call or text at 1-800-422-4453 

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline – available 24/7 by calling 1-800-843-5678 

National Domestic Violence Hotline – available 24/7 by calling 1-800-799-7233 or texting START to 88788 

National Sexual Assault Hotline – available 24/7 by calling 1-800-656-4673 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-8255 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline – available 24/7 by calling 1-800-622-4357 

Crisis Text Line – available 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741