Child Abuse Prevention Month
To the Editor:
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Show your children that you love and like them, it gives them a sense of security, belonging and support. Give each child your undivided attention when he or she is trying to communicate with you. Find some special time to spend together with your family and individually with each child.
As a parent, educator and child advocate, I see many children that are victims of abuse and neglect. As parents and community members we have a responsibility to raise our children without physical or emotional abuse.
Did you know?
• In 2009, 4,742 Minnesota children were abused and neglected; 44 children suffered life-threatening injuries and 21 children died from maltreatment. Of these abused and neglected children:
• The median age for victims was six years old.
• In the last decade, more than a third of all American households did not have enough money to buy food, clothing and other necessities after paying for their housing. It takes two wage earners to bring home what one earned 30 years ago.
• At least 25 percent of American families with children less than three years of age fall below the poverty line.
• Thirty-eight percent of Minnesota child maltreatment cases were from physical abuse and 11 percent were sexual abuse. There was neglect in 66 percent of the determined cases.
• Child abuse costs more than $94 billion in combined direct and indirect costs.
In 2011 Bluff Country Family Resources worked with:
• 161 victims of child abuse;
• 35 percent were victims of neglect;
• 25 percent were physically abused;
• Three percent were reported cases of sexual abuse;
• 36 percent were victims of domestic violence.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is time to reflect on what we are doing as a community to support children and families. Children don’t come with instructions and too many parents face raising their children without the knowledge and support they need and deserve. We all have opportunities to reach out to parents in our own families, neighborhoods, places of worship, and places of employment.
Let’s make sure all parents know that their hard work is valued. Think of what it will mean for the future of children and the future of our community.
Bluff Country Family Resources
Houston County Child Abuse Prevention Council