10 Ways to Prevent Child Abuse
Anything you do to support kids and parents can help reduce the stress that often leads to abuse and neglect. By educating yourself – and others – you can help your community prevent child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place.The behavior of children may signal abuse or neglect long before any change in physical appearance. If you suspect abuse or neglect may be occurring, report it.
Be a nurturing parent. Children need to know that they are special, loved and capable of following their dreams. Learn about how children grow and mature and have realistic expectations of what your child can and cannot do.
Help a friend, neighbor or relative. Being a parent isn’t easy. Someone you know may be struggling with his or her parenting responsibilities. Offer a helping hand- take care of the children, so the parent(s) can rest or spend time together.
Help yourself. When the big and little problems of everyday life pile up to the point you feel overwhelmed and out of control – take time out. Don’t take it out onyour kid. Take a deep breath. Turn on some music. Know who to call for help, and keep the numbers next to your phone.
Respect kids. Treat them the same way you want to be treated.
Get involved. Advocate for services to families. Help to establish parenting groups in your community. Ask your community leaders, clergy, library and schools to develop services to meet the needs of healthy children and families.
Help to develop parenting resources at your local library – films, books, and information.
Promote programs in schools. Teaching children, parents and teachers prevention strategies can help to keep children safe.
Monitor your child’s television and video viewing. Watching violent films and TV programs harms young children. It scares them, and teaches children that aggression is a good way to handle frustration and solve problems.
Volunteer at a local child abuse program. There are many family support, crisis need volunteers to help families under stress. Contact your local United Way office or look in a telephone directory for agencies in your community. If you can’t give time, support the program with a donation.
Report suspected abuse or neglect. Keeping children safe is the responsibility of every adult in the community. If you have reason to believe a child has been or may be harmed call the Oahu 24-hour hotline at 832-5300. Neighbor Island calls may be made during business hours Monday-Friday (East Hawaii 974-6565, West Hawaii 327-4787, Kauai 274-3320, Maui 243-5162, Molokai 553-3681, Lanai 565-7271). Your concern may mean that children are protected from abuse.
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Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii is a chartered chapter of the national organization Prevent Child Abuse America.