Today's Guest Author is Sean Morris.
Child abuse comes in many different forms, but knowing the definition of child mistreatment, how to prevent it, and how to promote positive change can make all the difference for a family.
Abuse can be sexual, physical, or emotional in nature and can include neglect. Studies show that all of these can lead to adverse effects on children later in life, including substance abuse and other risk-taking behavior, social disorders, teenage pregnancy, anxiety, depression, and suicide, so it is important to stop the cycle as soon as possible. According to the CDC, mistreatment can include:
● Physical abuse, such as hitting, kicking, or shaking
● Neglect of any kind, including not meeting a child’s needs for food, shelter, clothing, or education
● Emotional abuse, such as shaming, threatening, or name-calling
● Sexual abuse, including physically abusing a child or exposing him/her to sex acts
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The best way to prevent abuse within a family is to accept help. Raising a child can be overwhelming for some, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources for parents and caregivers--including the CDC and state-wide chapters of abuse prevention councils--that support education and promoting a loving bond between parent and child. Abusive behavior is preventable but requires communication, structure, and learning not only your own limits but how to cope when you hit them.
It’s important for children to have safe, stable relationships with the adults in their lives, and sometimes abuse comes from sources outside the home, such as from a bully or even a trusted family friend. It is extremely important to maintain open communication with your children and urge them to talk to you about what is going on in their lives. Alert authorities immediately if you suspect abusive behavior outside the home.
In 2014, there were more than 700,000 documented cases of child abuse in America. Many of those instances could have possibly been prevented with the right education and outreach. Speak up, reach out, and open up if you feel your family is suffering from a form of abuse.
You can follow Sean Morris's posts posts on Family issues here.
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