April is child abuse prevention month. Even if you were fortunate enough to not experience this as a child, you may know someone who was, or a parent whose son or daughter was mistreated by another adult. The pain is difficult for the children and for the families of the victims as well.
Here in Florida, some recent laws were passed to help address this issue. In 2012, the Florida legislature made it a third degree felony (it was previously a misdemeanor) to not report suspected child abuse. You can read more about the law here.
There are a number of helpful resources aimed at helping raise awareness and prevention of child abuse, as well as caring for those who have experienced it. The website Lauren’s Kids offers some information and curriculum and is worth checking out. There is also a website called “Don’t Miss The Signs” which lists a number of key indicators that a child may have experienced abuse, including:
· Frequent bruises or broken bones
· Frequent school absences
· Sudden emotional withdrawal
· Sudden aggressive behavior
· Acting out in school
· Displays of irrational fear of certain places, situations or people
· Regression to an earlier stage of development: bed-wetting or thumb-sucking
· Social isolation
· Inadequate personal hygiene
Please check out these resources and share them during April, so that we can all do our part to stop child abuse.