LEARN THE SIGNS! SPEAK UP!  
AND REPORT ABUSE!

DID YOU KNOW that the first anti-cruelty laws were enacted on behalf of animals, NOT CHILDREN. 


It was little Mary Ellen Wilson, a nine-year-old girl who had been a prisoner in her tenement home, enduring unimaginable cruelty who finally put a human face on child abuse — and prompted a reformers’ crusade to prevent it and to protect its victims, an effort that continues to this day. 


To read more about Mary Ellen and how her case led to the founding of New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in December of 1874, please click here.


  • Myth 2: People abused as children become abusers. This is only partly true. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that about 30% of adults who were abused and neglected as children will later abuse their own children. However, this “cycle of abuse” is not inevitable. While past abuse is one indicator for future abuse, it is not the only one. Some research indicates that if a child is able to disclose an incident of abuse early on and is supported by people who believe the claim is real, the child is less likely to become an adult perpetrator of abuse.
  • Myth 3: People abused as children become abusers. This is only partly true. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that about 30% of adults who were abused and neglected as children will later abuse their own children. However, this “cycle of abuse” is not inevitable. While past abuse is one indicator for future abuse, it is not the only one. Some research indicates that if a child is able to disclose an incident of abuse early on and is supported by people who believe the claim is real, the child is less likely to become an adult perpetrator of abuse.
  • ​Myth 4: Children are resilient and bounce back from anything. Children are resilient, but abuse and neglect have lasting and sometimes unidentified consequences. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who have had to be removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect suffer post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of veterans of the first Gulf War.​
  • Myth 5: It’s only abuse if it’s physical. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 78% of child abuse reports were due to neglect. As defined by the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, neglect is the failure of a parent, guardian, or other caregiver to provide for a child’s basic needs. Children are resilient, but abuse and neglect have lasting and sometimes unidentified consequences. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who have had to be removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect suffer post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of veterans of the first Gulf War.

  • Myth 6: Children are usually abused by strangers. Children are more likely to be abused by someone they know and trust rather than by a stranger. Many children are unable to tell they are being abused when someone familiar is the perpetrator. Disclosing what has happened (or is happening) to them also has a greater personal impact when it involves someone the child knows.
  • Myth 7: My child would speak up if he or she were being abused. Parents should teach their children about dangerous situations and what to do in the event of one. But despite best efforts, there are a variety of reasons why children do not speak up, including having feelings of shame and fear. Not only should children be taught how to recognize if they are being abused and what to do about it, but they should also be made to feel safe and secure when reporting abuse.
  • Myth 8: Somebody else will probably report it. Recurring child abuse and neglect is preventable, but someone must take that first step to end it. This year in the United States, more than 1,500 children will die as a result of abuse or neglect, and nearly 1,250 of those children will be under the age of four. Now imagine how different these children’s lives might have been if a neighbor or relative had the courage to make one simple phone call?

​​Every state has enacted laws detailing who must report child abuse, and 48 states have laws that list mandatory reporters of child abuse, by profession. Some of those professions include: social workers, teachers, physicians, mental health professionals, and law enforcement agents. ADDITIONALLY, *18 STATES AND PUERTO RICO MANDATE THAT ANY ADULT WHO SUSPECTS CHILD ABUSE MUST REPORT IT TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES REGARDLESS OF PROFESSION. NEW JERSEY AND WYOMING REQUIRE ALL PERSONS TO REPORT WITHOUT SPECIFYING ANY PROFESSIONS. IN ALL OTHER STATES, TERRITORIES, AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, ANY PERSON IS PERMITTED TO REPORT. THESE VOLUNTARY REPORTERS OF ABUSE ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS "PERMISSIVE REPORTERS".




* Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Each year more than 500,000 children in the United States are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect through no fault of their own. They are victims of violence, or psychological or sexual abuse. Most have been neglected, and some have even been abandoned by their parents. Here we debunk eight common myths about child abuse so you can better recognize it and help stop it, one child at a time.


  • Myth 1: Child abuse is rare. Abuse happens everywhere and impacts every demographic. It happens in “good” families and in “bad,” big families and small, in cities and rural communities, in homes, schools, and churches. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 1 out of 5 children will experience some form of abuse or maltreatment before their 18th birthday, and children with disabilities experience an even higher rate of abuse


 8 Myths about child abuse

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE RISK FACTORS AND THINK YOU MIGHT HURT YOUR CHILD/CHILDREN,
PLEASE CALL 1-800-4-A-CHILD
(422-4453)
OR CALL 9-1-1 IF A CHILD IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER.
ALL OF THESE RISK FACTORS CAN EASILY BE ADDRESSED WITH THE APPROPRIATE RESOURCES AND ASSISTANCE FROM SUPPORT GROUPS.  
Abuse and neglect of children occurs in families from all walks of life, of all incomes, religions and ethnicities. There is no single cause of child maltreatment; rather, it occurs as a result of many forces working together to impact the family.

Infants and young children, because they are small and need constant care, are more likely to experience certain forms of maltreatment such as being shaken by parents or caregivers frustrated or overwhelmed by persistent crying. Teenagers, on the other hand, are at greater risk for sexual abuse.

Domestic violence. Witnessing domestic violence is terrifying to children and emotionally abusive. Even if the mother does her best to protect her children and keeps them from being physically abused, the situation is still extremely damaging. If you or a loved one is in an abusive relationships, getting out is the best thing for protecting the children.

​► Alcohol and drug abuse. Living with an alcoholic or addict is very difficult for children and can easily lead to abuse and neglect. Parents who are drunk or high are unable to care for their children, make good parenting decisions, and control often-dangerous impulses. Substance abuse also commonly leads to physical abuse.

Untreated mental illness. Parents who suffering from depression, an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or another mental illness have trouble taking care of themselves, much less their children. A mentally ill or traumatized parent may be distant and withdrawn from his or her children, or quick to anger without understanding why. Treatment for the caregiver means better care for the children. 

► Stress and lack of support. Parenting can be a very time-intensive, difficult job, especially if you’re raising children without support from family, friends, or the community or you’re dealing with relationship problems or financial difficulties. Caring for a child with a disability, special needs, or difficult behaviors is also a challenge. It’s important to get the support you need, so you are emotionally and physically able to support your child. 

Lack of parenting skills. Some caregivers never learned the skills necessary for good parenting. Teen parents, for example, might have unrealistic expectations about how much care babies and small children need. Or parents who were themselves victims of child abuse may only know how to raise their children the way they were raised. In such cases, parenting classes, therapy, and caregiver support groups are great resources for learning better parenting skills. 

RISK FACTORS FOR CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

By the time you finish reading this 15-20 children will have been abused, beaten or raped!
 
In 5 minutes, 30 more...
 
And by tonight, 8,000+ children will have suffered abuse...5 of which will die!

WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?

Child abuse and neglect is any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation of a child. It is an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a child.
 
(U.S. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act)
These types of abuse are more typically found in combination than alone. A physically abused child, for example, is often emotionally abused, and a sexually abused child also may be neglected.