Newsletter Article
Child Abuse Prevention Month presents opportunities to promote child abuse prevention in a newsletter or newspaper article. This sample article may be modified for the intended audience.

Observing Child Abuse Prevention Month

   Since 1983, when April was designated Child Abuse Prevention Month, communities across the country have used this month-long observance to increase awareness of child abuse and its prevention. It is a time when individuals, schools, businesses, hospitals, religious organizations, and social service agencies join forces in the battle against child abuse.
   Child maltreatment is one of societyís oldest, most insidious problems. More than one million children are confirmed as victims of maltreatment every year, with three children dying each day as a result of abuse and neglect. Recognizing that everyone can participate in efforts to eliminate this serious threat to children, communities across the country are stepping forward to promote the message that child abuse can and must be prevented.
   The National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse offers the following suggestions about ways to help prevent child maltreatment in your community.

Help parents in your community
  • Establish a parent support group. Plan a regular time when parents can get together to talk about and find solutions to parenting challenges.
  • If you know a parent under stress, offer him or her a break. Take care of the children for a while so the parent can relax.
  • Organize a regular playgroup so children and parents can all benefit.

Respond when you see abuse in public
  • Strike up a conversation with the adult to direct the parentís attention away from the child. Say something comforting like ďIt looks like itís been a long day for both of you.Ē
  • Praise the child and parent at the first opportunity.
  • Divert the childís attention (if misbehaving)by talking to the child.

Examine your own parenting practices
  • Recognize that you are the most important person in your childrenís lives. What you say to them and how you treat them determines how they feel about themselves. Offer them honest praise at every opportunity.
  • When youíre feeling troubled or lonely, and when pressures build up, donít lash out at your child. Stop and take a deep breath. Remember you are the adult. Close your eyes and pretend youíre hearing what your child is about to hear.
  • If you think you need help, youíre not alone. Being a parent isnít easy for anyone, and sometimes itís very hard. Take the first step. Reach out for help. Check your communityís resources for a child abuse or crisis hotline, parenting group, or family service agency.

Report suspected abuse or neglect
  • Protecting children requires everyone to report suspected abuse or neglect.
  • To report suspected maltreatment, call your local department of children and family services, usually listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book under Health and Human Services Department, or call the police department.

Prevent Child Abuse America is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization, established in 1972. Visit www.preventchildabuse.org for more information about child abuse. Red Bullet


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