April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and I’m gonna tell you how the department and other agencies are working to raise awareness about abuse and neglect in our community.
Well certainly Child Abuse Prevention Month is an opportunity for us to educate parents and children and families in the community as to how they can become involved in the community.
When is national child abuse prevention month?
In April, every year we’re putting a pinwheel displays we’re going to our individual and corporate donors and asking them to back us for our children’s services that’s the reason we’ve made the month of child abuse prevention also our Kids Campaign month where we’re generating funds to make sure that we can serve children in a way that’s effective .
One of the things that makes the rape and child abuse crisis center a unique non-profit in the community is that we are embedded in formal protocols of the formal system.
So law enforcement courts academia schools we are part of their protocol so as the community has grown, we have felt that burden.
I’m not saying that in a negative way.
I’m saying that we have an obligation to keep up with the growth of the community and in the last five years we have seen substantial growth.
Why the national child abuse prevention month is important?
For the calendar year of 2009 we accepted for assessment almost 4,000 referrals.
In the number of referrals we get for child abuse and neglect we are fortunate to have a really good partnership with agencies in the community that work with children or work to protect children.
Our law enforcement partners, our Child Advocacy Center our school system our mental health system, our military community, hence we’re all involved together to try and prevent child abuse and to address it when it does occur all those agencies work together.
We have regular meetings through our case review where we talk about our joint investigations and joint assessments of families and recommendations are made from the different agencies that participate.
We have advocate groups where we have the medical community participating so it’s a collaborative effort in our community.
We try and help people understand that they don’t have to have concrete information or know for certain that a child is being abused or neglected to report it to us.
All they have to have is the suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected and they can report that information to this agency and it’s our job to determine whether something has actually happened.
What is National Child Abuse Prevention Month?
We have children in our community and other communities across the world who are subject to atrocities of everything from neglect to physical abuse to sexual abuse.
So the providers really each take their piece and say we can work on this or we can provide the intervention and prevention to make sure that these kids are safe.
So everyone gears up for this national child abuse prevention month to make sure that the general population really understands what we’re doing for kids.
We don’t want to think this actually is a problem here but the numbers prove otherwise.
I mean it’s an issue that when you engage people in conversation. People struggle to get their heads around.
How people could treat children like this?
There are many factors that contribute to it but I think the key for us is to figure out how to get ahead of it and how to implement evidence-based primary prevention strategies and make sure that the intervention techniques are bringing health and healing to our children who have been impacted by these issues.
What are some prevention strategies for child abuse?
There are many schools of thought in preventing abuse but particularly child sexual abuse because it’s such a secret thing and most of the time abusers or rumors will use that this is our secret or this is just between you and me.
I think that when you’re dealing with something as horrific as child sexual abuse, you attack it from every angle that you possibly can
So you make sure that children understand that;
What the rights they have to their bodies?
We want to make sure that all of our neighbors and professionals who are working with children, understand the signs and symptoms of it so we can intervene but then continuing to raise child abuse prevention awareness around these issues and just how taxing they are on society and the children that are suffering from them.
So they’re probably a place where I get information and there’s a story recently locally where a mom was like.
I had no idea, I thought this guy was a very loving dad that was her take on him and found out if he was doing some horrific things.
So how would she have been able to see some signs?
I think that you know certainly the rape and abuse crisis center here in the United States locally would be a benefit.
All the prevention is to prevent child abuse in America.
Every state has one as North Dakota has an active child event a child prevention or child abuse prevention group out of Bismarck.
So even just searching it and there are so many groups that are so organized around this issue.
Here’s some of the warning signs, here’s how to talk to your kids about this stuff so really a quick search or calling the rape abuse crisis center we can get you on the right track.
So parents are the first step in this and will you talk about who you work with and the experts but it comes down to all of us can do something right and we are all responsible for our children’s safety.
It’s not about my child or your child, it’s about the rights of our child.
It’s how do we look out for each other’s children and make sure that they’re safe and the more we have a collective responsibility around the safety of children the more right we’ll do by them.
You talk a little bit more about kids are our business, so for years, the rape abuse crisis center had the kids, our business breakfast an event in the community where so many members of the community came out and supported us on that.
Some years ago we decided to move a different direction so we sunset at breakfast and we decided to do a campaign instead.
We have to stay ahead of this thing so what are you looking for right now as far as employees it is someone out there watch.
What if there are people out there who really counseling?
We need everyone but ultimately the three major pools of employees that we have our prevention.
- Community, and
We have counselors on staff who can see children and adults and we have advocates, we’re in the courts who do outreach.
They’re kind of our responder’s boots on the ground.
So we always seem to have positions open just based on the amount of growth that we’ve seen in the last five years.
Unfortunately, we have a really high rate of queries regarding child abuse prevention month here in the United States. In that respect help us to prevent child abuse by promoting this national child abuse prevention awareness month information on your social accounts.