How to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

It is completely possible to prevent child abuse and neglect! Child abuse and neglect are dire problems that have longterm impacts on the health, opportunity and well-being of children. All types of abuse and neglect against children by a parent, caregiver or another person in a custodial role that results in harm, the potential for harm, or the threat of harm to a child should be noted.

The Common Types of Abuse and Neglect:
Information provided by the CDC.
  • Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force that can result in physical injury. Examples include hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other shows of force against a child.
  • Sexual abuse involves pressuring or forcing a child to engage in sexual acts. It includes behaviors such as fondling, penetration, and exposing a child to other sexual activities. Please see CDC’s Preventing Child Sexual Abuse webpage for more information.
  • Emotional abuse refers to behaviors that harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name-calling, shaming, rejection, withholding love, and threatening.
  • Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. These needs include housing, food, clothing, education, and access to medical care.
Why This Is A Problem:
Information provided by the CDC.

It is common. At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect in the past year, and this is likely an underestimate. The CDC documents that in 2019, 1,840 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States.

Children who live in poverty experience more abuse and neglect than those who don’t. Poverty places high-stress volumes on families, which can cause an increased risk for child abuse and neglect. The CDC shares that rates of child abuse and neglect are 5 times higher for children in families with low socioeconomic status compared to children in families with higher socioeconomic status.

Child maltreatment is extremely expensive. In 2015, it costed $428 billion to pay for end results of child abuse and neglect.

How We Can Prevent Child Abuse:
Information provided by the CDC.

Different variations of violence are connected and often share the same cause. Acknowledging and stopping one form of violence can stop other forms of violence.

Child abuse and neglect are 100% preventable. Everyone takes comfort each day when children are safe and stable with nurturing relationships and in healthy environments.

Image provided by the CDC.

See Child Abuse and Neglect Resources for publications, data sources and prevention resources to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of A Second Chance, Inc.

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