June is National Children’s Awareness Month and the perfect time to talk about child abuse and neglect.
Child abuse is any act that results in serious harm or risk of harm to children, including physical violence, exploitation, and death. Failure to take action to stop this is also considered child abuse.
Child neglect is when a child isn’t provided basic needs like food, clean clothing, and medical care.
A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds, and 91% of child abuse is committed by parents.
4 to 5 children die from abuse or neglect every day in the U.S., and 75% of these children are under the age of 3 years old.
Children often can’t speak up to protect themselves from abuse. Some physical signs of abuse include visible and severe injuries, like bruises, sprains, and burns that aren’t easily explained.
Children who avoid or fear situations or a certain person in their life and who have extreme behavior, nightmares, and difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings may be experiencing abuse.
If you know kids with low self-esteem, who have strong shame or guilt, or who have slowed development mentally, physically, or emotionally, they may be experiencing child abuse.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, contact your state’s agency for help.