Briefing Room: child abuse prevention

Hi Seal Beach!

April is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  While it is horrible to think that child abuse happens at all, we know that across America, kids do not receive the chance to succeed because they are abused, neglected, or grow up without a nurturing, stable environment.  The purpose of this month is to bring awareness to this serious issue.  It is estimated that one in four children will experience abuse or neglect at some point in their lives.

There are several types of abuse that a child can experience.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, types of abuse include “physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. It is important to note, however, that these types of abuse are more typically found in combination than alone. A physically abused child, for example, is often emotionally abused as well, and a sexually abused child also may be neglected.”

In order to help prevent kids from becoming victims, the community needs to be able to recognize the signs of child abuse and report it to the proper authorities.  Here are a few common signs that a child is being victimized:

• A child might show sudden changes in behavior.

• The child doesn’t receive proper medical care, even after it is brought to the attention of parents.

• The child is always vigilant, as if something is about to happen.

• The child shows up to school or other activities early, and stays late to avoid being home.

• Parents may show little concern for their children.

• Parents may ask teachers to give strict punishments if the child misbehaves.

• The child and parent rarely look at each other or remain physically distant.

• The child seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home.

There are many other signs that other parents, teachers and school officials, and members of the community should be aware of.  For more information about child abuse, and resources to recognize and support healthy development of children, visit: