Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

How Can We Help Prevent Child Abuse?

Leave a comment

How do I prevent child abuse in my own home, and help others do the same?!

I found the website below while researching child abuse, and thought I’d share it with you. Its exactly what I’d like to say to any concerned person, so I decided to quote them for your information. Hope you enjoy, and feel you can get help if you need it. I will put a list of local and national help numbers on the next post. Perhaps  you can print them out and keep them in a private place so you know what to do.  Wishing you the best that life has to offer, which is a lot better than abuse!

Helen Holshouser



You Can Help !!

You Have What it needs to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect if you may:

1) Volunteer little of your time and money: Get involved with organizations working to prevent child abuse. Try to support families with emotional or financial problems. You can do more than what you think you could. You can make a change in the right direction.

2) Discipline your children thoughtfully: Never discipline your child when you are upset. Give yourself time to calm down.

Let’s remember that discipline is meant to teach a child and not a way of revenge.

Use privileges to encourage good behavior and time-outs to help your child regain control.

3) Examine your behavior: Abuse is not just physical. Both words and actions could inflict deep, lasting mental wounds.

Be a nurturing parent. Use your actions to show children and other adults that conflicts can be settled without hitting or yelling and that effective talking and listening can make a difference.

4) Educate yourself and others: Help educate others in your community about Child Abuse and Neglect.

Simple support for children and parents can be the best way to prevent Child Abuse.

After-school activities, parent education classes, mentoring programs, and respite care are some of the many ways to keep children safe from harm. Be a voice in support of these efforts in your community. Remember, any small effort can make a step towards the right way.

5)Teach children their rights: When children are taught they are special and have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault, and more likely to report an offender. Encourage you children to view the www.be-free.info site. It contains helpful information.

6) Support prevention programs: Too often, intervention occurs only after abuse is reported.

Parent education, community centers, respite care services, and abuse treatment programs help to protect children by addressing circumstances that places families at risk for Child Abuse and Neglect.

7) Know what Child Abuse is: Child Abuse and Neglect takes more than one form. There are four main types of child maltreatment: physical abuse, physical or emotional neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Often more than one type of abuse or neglect occurs within families. Some types of maltreatment, such as emotional abuse, are much harder to substantiate than others like is the case with physical abuse.

Children can also be emotionally abused when they are rejected, berated, or continuously isolated. Refer to description of child abuse in this site.

8) Know the signs: Unexplained injuries aren’t the only signs of abuse.

Fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.

9) Understand the causes: Most parents don’t hurt or neglect their children intentionally. Many were themselves abused or neglected. Very young or inexperienced parents might not know how to take care of their babies or what they can reasonably expect from children at different stages of development. Circumstances that places families under extraordinary stress—for instance, poverty, divorce, sickness, disability—sometimes take their toll in child maltreatment. Parents who abuse alcohol or other drugs are more likely to abuse or neglect their children.

Report Abuse: If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of Abuse, or if a child tells you about abuse, make a report to the proper authorities in your country.

When talking to a child about Abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that he or she is not responsible for what happened.

11) Invest in Kids. Encourage leaders in the community to be supportive of children and families.

Ask employers to provide family-friendly work environments. Ask your local and national lawmakers to support legislation to better protect our children and to improve their lives.

12) Strengthen the fabric of your community: Know your neighbors’ names and the names of their children, and make sure they know yours. Give stressed parents a break by offering to watch their children. Volunteer. If you like interacting with children, great, but you do not have to volunteer directly with kids to contribute to prevention. All activities that strengthen communities, such as service to civic clubs and participation on boards and committees, ultimately contribute to the well-being of children.

Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use to poor families. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.

13) Be ready in an emergency: We’ve all have heard about the screaming-child-in-the-supermarket in UK whom was killed by another 2 children. Most parents take the typical tantrum in stride. But what if you witness the scene in the supermarket or anywhere else would you believe a child is being, or is about to be, physically or verbally abused? Responding in these circumstances technically moves beyond prevention to intervention, and intervention is best handled by professionals. Still, if you find yourself in a situation where you believe a child is being or will be abused at that moment, there are steps you can take. Bellow are examples of what you can do:

Talk to the adult to get their attention away from the child. Be friendly.

Say something like, “Children can really wear you out, can’t they?” or “My child has done the same thing.”

Ask if you could help in any way—could you carry some packages? Play with an older child so the baby can be fed or changed? Call someone on your cell phone?

If you see a child alone in a public place—for example, unattended in a grocery cart—stay if you can with the child until the parent returns.

 Finally—and most important if you are a parent—remember that prevention, like most positive things, begins at home. Take time to re-evaluate your parenting skills. Be honest with yourself—are you yelling at your children a lot or hitting them? Do you enjoy being a parent at least most of the time? If you could benefit from some help with parenting, seek it—getting help when you need it is an essential part of being a good parent. Talk to a professional that you trust; take a parenting class; read a book about child development.


Retrieved from

The Be-Free Team. 2012. You Can Help. 

(If this link doesn’t take you directly to the website, copy and paste it in your address bar.

Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

Please share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s