Preventing Child Abuse

According to the non-profit organization Childhelp, five children across the United States die every day as a direct result of child abuse. The perpetrator of the abuse could be a parent, stepparent, family friend, teacher, coach, other family member, or even a stranger. While physical and sexual abuse get the most attention, neglect is a form of abuse as well. The organization also states that someone makes a report of child abuse every 10 seconds in this country, leading to a staggering 3.3 million annual reports of child abuse. If you’re the parent of a minor child, it’s important to know how to prevent your child from becoming a statistic.

What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse

Parenting is rewarding but also stressful at times. It can be especially stressful when you’re worried about money, have little or no support from the child’s other parent, or your child challenges your authority. Sometimes even the most loving parent can feel like lashing out in anger in these types of situations. To prevent everyday discipline from turning into abuse, avoid disciplining your child when you feel like you’re out of control with anger. Send your child to a different room where he or she will be safe and then address the problem behavior when you’re feeling calmer.

If you find yourself at a loss as to how to cope with or support your child, from the difficult toddler stages to serious behavioral issues, know that you’re not alone and there are numerous local resources to help.  One, for example, is the Positive Parenting Program, commonly referred to as Triple P.  To sign up or learn more information about Triple P, click here:

While you can control your own behavior towards your child, you can’t always control what others will do when you’re not with your child. That is why teaching him or her how to prevent and report abuse from an early age is so important. Childhelp recommends that all parents do the following:

  • Get to know your child’s friends and their families
  • Participate in as many of your child’s activities as possible
  • Don’t leave your child unattended in a car, store, doctor’s office, or any other public place
  • Teach your child that he or she does not have to accept behavior from adults that feels uncomfortable
  • If your child seems reluctant to spend time with a certain adult, ask questions to find out why
  • Listen when your child talks about potentially abusive situations and express that you believe him or her
  • Pay attention to any sudden changes in behavior or attitude and question your child about it
  • Teach your child his or her full name, parents’ names, address, and your telephone number as well as what to do if the two of you become separated in public
  • Teach your child body anatomy and the correct name for all parts
  • A child showing premature understanding of sexual relationships is a red flag that someone could be abusing him or her
  • Be suspicious of any adult who shows an unusual interest in your child
  • If your child attends school or daycare, make sure the staff will not release him or her to anyone other than yourself or other people you have designated

Contact a Family Law Attorney at the Cate Law Firm

No matter what family law matter you may need assistance with, we encourage you to contact our Spartanburg, South Carolina law office at 864-585-4226 to request a confidential legal consultation. We assist with divorce, child support, custody, temporary relief orders, and many other family law matters


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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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