1 in 4 children have experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives.
The effects of child abuse are long-lasting. And patterns of child abuse can last for generations. It’s a tough cycle to break, but one month each year is dedicated to doing just that. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, designed to promote awareness of how to increase the wellness of children and families.
Child Abuse Information
Children who experience abuse or neglect can suffer from physical, psychological, and behavioral issues. In a long-term study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that as many as 80% of young adults who suffered from abuse met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at the age of 21. A National Institute of Justice Study found that abused or neglected children are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit a violent crime.
Communities across the country work diligently to prevent child abuse and neglect everyday. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, our communities rededicate themselves to being supportive of families and play an active role in preventing child abuse and neglect.
By working to prevent child abuse, children will grow to their full potential in a healthy family. It also helps to reduce the prison population, the number of patients with mental illness, and the number of gang members.
Pay Attention and Know the Signs
There are four major types of child maltreatment: Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse. Examples of symptoms are listed below:
Signs of malnutrition; Poor hygiene; Unattended physical or medical problems
Unexplained bruises, burns, or welts; Child appears frightened of a parent or caregiver
Pain, bleeding, redness, or swelling in anal or genital area; Age-inappropriate sexual play with toys, self, or others; Age-inappropriate knowledge of sex
Extremes in behavior, ranging from overly aggressive to overly passive; Delayed physical, emotional, or intellectual development