Few things are as damaging to a person’s long-term prospects in life as being abused as a child. Child abuse is a type of harm that continually inflicts damage on its targets in some way, shape or form. Everyone who is a member of any society should have an interest in contributing to child abuse prevention. Every child saved from this terrible situation has a better chance to experience a healthy and happy life. Sadly, chances are that at least one child somehow connected to your life has been or is being abused. The children’s rights lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys would like to help everyone engage in active child abuse prevention by providing two powerful weapons useful in this worthy fight: knowledge and awareness. Putting these two tools to use is the best way any individual can help save a child or children.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services publishes regular reports on child abuse. The most recent information comes from 2015. The report included the following statistics from that year and from 2014 for the sake of comparison:
Those who would like to review the entire report can find it here. The reason that there are more children than referrals is because many reports involve more than one child. When breaking this down further, the result is that more than four children die every day in the United States because of abuse or neglect.
The report also breaks down who is filing the reports of child abuse. That information appears below in the form of percentages of total child abuse reports filed:
Overall, professionals submit nearly two-thirds of all of the reports of child abuse in the United States. Family members submit less than 15 percent to authorities.
An important early step towards child abuse prevention is obtaining an understanding of its common causes. The Family Resource Center is a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to bring about awareness with regards to child abuse in hopes of preventing it. It was established in 1974, the same year that the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was enacted into law by the federal government. The Family Resource Center is based in St. Louis and it has provided some information regarding common causes of child abuse. They appear below along with brief explanations:
As stated above, most of us come into some sort of contact with children every day. Therefore, it is up to all of us to recognize how prevalent child abuse is in the United States, what tends to cause it and of course the warning signs of child abuse. Stanford University has published a list of warning signs, and those who would like to review it in totality can find it here. A few examples of warning signs of child abuse include:
While there are lists of warning signs of child abuse available, many people need to simply trust their instincts when they sense that something is wrong.
Many people who suspect that child abuse is occurring are not sure of where to report it. If you believe that a child is being abused and you’re unsure of where to turn, you can always speak to law enforcement for help. In addition, the federal government has online resources available for you to use if you would rather contact someone more specialized in dealing with these situations. This link provides information for child abuse and neglect reporting numbers for all of the states across the country. The bottom line is that if you believe that this is happening, report it.
During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we should all take a few minutes to make sure that we have a basic understanding of this troubling and for millions of people terrifying issue. If your child has been abused by someone and you need help determining how to hold that person, those people or that organization accountable, seek the help of children’s rights lawyers who have earned a long track record of standing up for the safety, dignity and health of young people. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.Posted in: Children's Rights
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