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Posts Tagged ‘Child Abuse Awareness Month’

It’s National Child Abuse Awareness Month, a cause very close to my heart, and I didn’t want to let it pass unnoticed.  The official symbols of the month are the Dark Blue Ribbon, and the Pinwheel.  The Pinwheel represents the ideal childhood that all children should have.

A few statistics for you:

  • 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused or assaulted before reaching age 18, 1 in 3 in their lifetime.
  • 1 in  7 boys will be sexually abused or assaulted before age 18 (I have seen this statistic range between 1 in 5 to 1 in 8, with 1 in 7 being most common)
  • A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in this country… yet most abuse cases go unreported
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the abuser, 68% are family members
  • Neglect is the overwhelmingly most common form of abuse

Do you know how to recognize the signs of a child being abused?  Have you discussed good and bad touch with your children?  Do they know they can talk to you without judgement if they feel uncomfortable with what someone has done?

What would you do if your friend told you about having been abused?  Do you know what to say or do?  More importantly, do you know what NOT to say or do?  1 in 4 of the women you know has been sexually abused.

Do you know that most teachers have never been taught to recognize child abuse, and most of those who have had training have only had quick awareness seminars?  Even many counselors have never been taught the signs of child abuse.  Please take the time to educate yourself.

http://www.childhelp.org/pages/signs-of-child-abuse

And I need to dispell a myth:

Myth: People who are abused will abuse their own children.  This is not true, only 30% of people who were abused as children abuse their own children, that means 70% of those who were abused will break the cycle.  Most people who abuse were abused, but most people who were abused choose not to abuse their own kids.  As a professor of mine used to say, if it’s a pizza, it probably has pepperoni on it, but just because it has pepperoni doesn’t make it a pizza.

Statistics come from Childhelp along with a variety of sources from which I know longer have the references ( I did a number of papers as a college student on childhood abuse, and sexual abuse in particular).

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