April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Become a Prevention Champion by Learning More About Protective Factors:
Number 1: Social and Emotional Competence of Children
Early identification and assistance for challenging behaviors or delays, to help children interact more positively with others, self-regulate and communicate their feelings.
Number 2: Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
Accurate information about healthy development and appropriate expectations at every stage of childhood can come from family members, education classes and reliable sources.
Number 3: Parental Resilience
Ability to handle challenges, find solutions, establish trusting relationships-including with their child-and knowing when and how to seek help.
Number 4: Social Connections
Access to a network of friends, family, neighbors, and community members who provide emotional support, advice and direct help, when needed.
Number 5: Concrete Support for Parents
Services in place to provide stability, treatment and support for family members going through a crisis such as domestic violence, mental illness or abuse.
BELOW ARE 5 STEPS *ANYONE* CAN TAKE TO HELP PREVENT CHILD ABUSE
In New York State, 65,000 children suffer abuse each year. In the U.S., five children die each day
from injuries related to child abuse. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Tim
Hathaway, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY) says there are five key
steps we can all take to better protect all children:
1. Build relationships with children in your life. Whether family members, neighbors or
children you see at church, start a conversation. Then, Hathaway says, listen more than talk,
ask open ended questions, avoid judgment, pay attention to any behavior changes, know
their friends and show you care about their world. Children need adults outside the home
that they can trust.
2. Connect with people. Too often, we close the garage door behind us or stay glued to our
phones – never speaking with our neighbors. Hathaway points out the abuse in California
happened for years, right under peoples’ noses. He suggests getting to know those living
and working around you, walking around your neighborhood, making eye contact in your
building and starting conversations.
3. Be aware of resources. Support local groups that are creating positive experiences for kids
and families, through donations, volunteering or spreading the word. Know where to go for
support and be ready to direct others, if needed. New York State offers a free, confidential
24-hour helpline: 1-800- CHILDREN (or 1-800- 244-5373). If you or someone you know
suspects child abuse, it can be reported at: 1-800- 342-3720.
4. Vote – and hold elected leaders accountable. Ask what your local, state and federal
representatives are doing to help children and families. Hathaway suggests signing online
petitions, calling and writing to legislators in support of policies and funding that help kids.
To schedule advocacy training in your community, contact Jenn O’Connor at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay on top of issues, sign up for PCANY’s free e-
newsletter at: preventchildabuseny.org.
5. Raise awareness through “Pinwheels for Prevention.” A pinwheel, Hathaway explains,
represents carefree childhood and serves as the national symbol for preventing child abuse.
In 2017, over 200 groups created “Pinwheels for Prevention Gardens” in public spaces
across New York State to raise awareness. Talk to your town, club, school or sports program
about joining the effort. Visit: preventchildabuseny.org for a free seed kit.
“These five tips are actions that we can all take to make our communities stronger and safer for
children,” Hathaway says. “Every child deserves to grow up safe and happy. If we pledge to be
more aware, share information and support organizations, policies and programs that benefit
families, we can prevent child abuse in New York State.”
Help us raise the leaders of tomorrow.
Every child deserves a healthy, nurturing childhood and the opportunity to grow to become a caring, productive adult. Unfortunately, the toxic stress of child abuse and neglect can damage a developing child’s brain in ways that create poor outcomes that last a lifetime.
Abuse harms more than just an individual child’s chances for success—it harms a community’s economic prosperity and quality of life.
The good news is that child abuse is preventable!
Prevent Child Abuse New York, a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, is on the forefront of a growing movement to stop child abuse and neglect before it has a chance to start. We serve as a resource for parents and families, connecting them with help, support and resources. We advocate for programs and policies that support families and prevent abuse. We foster a statewide network of individuals and organizations committed to prevention.
Please join us in our work to give every parent, child and community in New York a healthy and successful future. The leaders of tomorrow are counting on us.