The month of April is full of lots of wonderful things: the allergenic burst of fauna and flora preparing for Spring, tax deadlines, spring-breaks. No seriously, April signals Child Abuse Prevention Month for Thrive Counseling! Throughout April, Thrive Counseling will be celebrating this awareness month with flare and style! We don our adorable “Thrived-out” t-shirts and parade around the office promoting child well-being.
Did you know that every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children); and that the United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect (CDC Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, Child Maltreatment 2012)? Why should there ever be a reason to abuse a child? Do you know? Never.
Abuse, more often than not, sets a child up to fail in their future and unfortunately provides a life of mental and emotional issues. Children abused and/or neglected have a significantly higher risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. Child abuse isn’t just physical abuse. Mental and emotional abuse can be damaging as well. This leads to kids having a severe lack of trust in their relationships (friendships, family, and romantic relationships). Did you know that most child abuse happens with someone the child is related to? Most often, unfortunately, the abuser is a family member. Strangers aren’t the only danger to your child.
Children who have been abused have a difficult time expressing their emotions. They tend to suppress them. A lot of kiddos end up feeling worthless or like they aren’t loved. Especially children who have been sexually abused. Sexual abuse isn’t always as apparent as physical abuse. You cannot see that a child has been exposed to an adults genitals or that they touched another person’s private parts. It isn’t as easy to spot as a black eye. Take a child seriously if they try to tell you that they have been abused. Children tend to feel as if they are the reason that they were abused or raped. They have a guilt placed upon them that they are not equipped to handle. If a child is sexually abused, they tend to either go one of two ways and engage in sexual promiscuity or cannot maintain an intimate relationship. This is all due to the shame and guilt that they encounter after they have been raped.
Neglect is another form of abuse. You think, I didn’t do anything to the kid. Right. You ignored them or left them unsupervised. Do you recall the incident that happened last summer? The 2 year old toddler that was left inside his father’s car. In the summer! That is a form of neglect AND child abuse.
Thrive Counseling has lots of options for support for children who have been abused mentally, emotionally, physically, or sexually. Our Thrive Therapists are trained in the area of trauma and grief and are experts at providing therapy for the younger population. If you suspect that a child is being abused, please report to someone. There are many websites and phone lines out there that are for this. Let’s prevent and end child abuse together!!!