Wear a blue ribbon, fight against abuse
The numbers are startling.
Forty-three percent of American parents report spanking or hitting their child within the last 12 months, 37 percent report insulting or swearing at their child and two percent report having kicked, bit or punched their child. More than 3 million children were reported to child protective service agencies as alleged victims of child abuse or neglect in 1998, and approximately 1 million of these reports were confirmed.
In our county, right here in our seemingly safe communities, DHR received 157 reports of child abuse, and the Child Advocacy Center pursued 68 cases of child abuse, many of them sexual in nature.
The physical and emotional abuse of children yields harmful consequences for society: a growing body of evidence links child abuse and neglect with drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, youth violence, and chronic health problems. It is therefore critical to focus on preventing child abuse and neglect before it starts. That's what April's observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month is all about.
Placing an emphasis on positive parenting is an important component to the prevention of child abuse. As a community it is essential that we support parents and families.
April's observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month is an appropriate opportunity to remind ourselves of our collective responsibility to prevent the abuse and neglect that robs so many of our society's children of their childhood, their sense of security and well-being, and their future.Wear a blue ribbon or a blue bracelet and remember that together, we really can make a difference.