Have the Power to Prevent Child Abuse
and neglect affect children of all ages, races and income.
Understand the terms.
Child abuse and
neglect take more than one form. Federal and State laws address
four main types of child maltreatment: physical abuse, physical
or emotional neglect, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.
Understand the causes.
parents don’t hurt or neglect their children intentionally. Many
were themselves abused or neglected. Very young parents 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 place 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.
Support programs that support families.
education, community centers, respite care services and substance
abuse treatment programs help to protect children by addressing
circumstances that place families at risk for child abuse and
neglect. Donate your time or money, if you can.
Report suspected abuse and neglect.
you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the police
or your local child welfare agency. Doing so, may save a child
and a family.
Spread the word.
Help educate others
in your community about child abuse and neglect. You can find
sources for free materials from Prevent Child Abuse America at
312-663-3520 or Parents Anonymous, Inc. at 909-621-6184. Place
these materials at your local public library, community center,
club and sport center, university, government center and church,
synagogue, temple, mosque or other faith institution.
Strengthen the fabric of your community.
Know your neighbors’ names and the names of their children
and, make sure they know your name. Volunteer directly with children
or participate on the board or on a committee for any organization,
service or civic club that ultimately contributes to the well-being
Be ready in an emergency.
If you witness
a situation where you believe a child is being or will be abused,
try to talk to the adult to get their attention away from the
child. Ask if you can be of any help or call someone for them
on your cell phone. If you see a child alone in a public place,
stay with the child until the parent returns.
that prevention begins at home.
time to re-evaluate your parenting skills. Be honest with yourself.
Read a book about child development. If you could benefit from
talking to a professional or taking a parenting class, do so.
U.S. Department of Health & Human
Services; Administration for Children & Families)