Sunday, April 29, 2007

Help Put An End To Child Abuse!

So far this month, we've learned a lot about the different types of child abuse, and about what parents can do to prevent child abuse in their own homes. There are also a lot of ways to prevent child abuse in your community, and even in the world!

First of all, go take this quiz on child abuse, and see how much you've learned during Child Abuse Awareness Month. Then, email a link to it to all of the people on your usual emailing list! It'll only take a minute... and your friends will be glad its not another one of those goofy chain-mail thingies!

Lend your support to a friend, neighbor, family member or acquaintance who is having a lot of trouble parenting their children. Offer to babysit or run some errands for them. Let them know there are resources available if they need it... for instance, the hotlines we discussed in yesterday's entry, Parents Anonymous, or the National Respite Locator (There are organizations that will offer respite care, on a regulr or emergency basis, to families who are having a tough time, or to families with kids with special needs.)

Get to know your children's friends. Let your kids know that if their friends are having problems at home, you will do your best to help.

If you like to wear those colorful "support my cause" wristbands, order a Band of Hope from Childhelp or a blue wristband from Prevent Child Abuse America. Then, when people ask you what your wristband is for, it will spark a discussion about child abuse awareness.

Contact Childhelp and ask to be sent a package of their Hotline magnets, which you can then distribute to people you know. You can even stick them on payphones at the local library, grocery store, etc!

Get involved in your community. Mentor an at-risk child, help out at a local school, or find out if there is a local crisis nursery you can volunteer in.

Report child abuse when you see it. If you're not sure, your first call can be to the National Child Abuse Hotline. Your call will be anonymous, and they can discuss the situation with you and help you decide ifthere really is abuse in the scenario. If you decide you want to make a report, they will give you the phone number to your state's department of child and family services. (But if you think a child is in life-threatening danger, you should call 9-1-1 immediately.)

Remember, they're all our children! We all need to pitch in to help protect them!

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