3 Things You Didn’t Know About Child Abuse

by Natalie McBride

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Child Abuse

Did you know April is “Child Abuse Prevention Month”? That’s not to say it’s the only month to prevent it, but as with any specially designated day, week or month, it’s to bring awareness to the reality of a particular issue society is still struggling to overcome. In April, we acknowledge that child abuse is still prevalent and re-open the dialogue for ways to prevent it from happening.

We’re blogging on this topic for the obvious reasons of the nature of our mission, but it’s also always been a very personal topic. While I am not personally a victim, learning about the reality of its existence as I grew up, frightened me. Knowing this was happening and experiencing such feelings about it as I did, I knew I had to do my part to help eradicate child abuse.

According to the American Society of Positive Care of Children, did you know…

  • A parent is the #1 perpetrator of child abuse
  • Children under the age of one suffer the highest rate of abuse
  • 5 children die per day from child abuse

Sadly, abuse is cyclical. Prevention is the greatest defense a community can engage in to stop the cycle of child abuse. There are a number of organizations dedicated to this prevention effort, namely: ChildHelp, American Society of Positive Care of Children, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA), Kid’s at Risk (KARA) Group’s Invisible Children, Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA). As nonprofits, they each take a unique approach to preventing child abuse, but all have the same mission. Donations help these organizations provide proven education, services and/or support to live out their mission to end child abuse.

It’s a hard reality to acknowledge that parents are the most likely to commit child abuse, and that the majority of children abused are under the age of one. This begs the question, “what more can we do to better support parents?” I think the answer is “a lot more.” Parenting with support is a challenge, so unsupported parents can be susceptible to losing their cool directly on their babies. The ripple effects are far-reaching, too.

Offering to help new parents is a great place to start. Actually helping them is even better. No one wants to seem as though they can’t handle themselves, so they’ll politely refuse your offer to help – insist on helping. Anything we can do to ease the burden on each other can make a huge impact on how we relate to our children when we’re at the end of our rope. With countless pressure points, it’s the toughest responsibility to hold, being a parent. Feeling a sense of support, knowing when to take a time-out, understanding baby basics are a part of preventing child abuse. Abuse isn’t always intentional, but can be a repercussion of stress and lack of knowledge.

Who makes you feel supported in your parenting journey? Who do you encourage or simply lend a listening ear to about their parenting challenges/triumphs? How can you gift support to new parents? How can you advocate for children and encourage legislation that supports new families in a bigger way? How can you make #greatchildhoods happen? #babyboldly

Today’s Bold Momma

Natalie is co-founder of Baby Boldly, wife to James and mom to Abigail (4 years) and Mabel (1 year). Her passion (alongside pizza and chocolate) is with new moms and dads, striving to empower them for improved birth and postpartum experiences and changing the way society relates to new moms’ and dads’ unique needs.

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