Protecting Our Children

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Essay I wrote for my child abuse and neglect class.

Submitted: August 18, 2009

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Submitted: August 18, 2009

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Society has come along way in terms of children’s rights, movements against abuse and spreading knowledge throughout the community. But there is a still so much more we can improve, so much more that can be done to protect our children in the community. The biggest thing we can do to protect our children from abuse and neglect is to educate all members of the community. In order to prevent child maltreatment we all must work together.
Most children are brought up learning that they when an adult asks them to do something, they do it. Sometimes no questions asked. Children have a hard time distinguishing between when they have to do what their told and when they need to say “no”. Parents must teach their kids how to recognize unacceptable adult behavior and how to get help if a potentially abusive situation develops. It is up to us, as adults, to set strong boundaries for the children.
Another important thing we must teach children is that danger can come from neighbors, family members, scout leaders, teachers, strangers, etc. Bad touch or hurting is never an acceptable behavior and no one has the right to do it to anyone, ever. If they are unsure about a situation, they need to ask another adult. Parents need to be educated and aware of characteristics of offenders, who in their community is prone to violent behavior and above all know where their child is and whom they are with.
Parents are not alone in protecting children; communities need to make more resources available to new parents, such as mental health counselors. Many infant abuse cases are a result of mixed emotions, like anger, stress, and confusion. This would give the parents some time, away from the child, to vent and release these feelings.
Parents who abuse or neglect their children experience more loneliness and isolation than parents who do not. This is why parents need a support team, weather it’s a friend, partner or relative.
Members of the community must make it clear that child abuse is just like any other form of abuse and will no be tolerated. Any reasonable suspicion must be reported, even if you aren’t able to prove it. Agencies can’t help if they don’t know what is going on.
We need to strengthen our police and judicial systems. This can be done in numerous ways. Giving offenders more counseling to find out the underlying causes, making rehab mandatory, stricter punishment. Yes these programs all cost money but that is exactly why communities need to push on legislation to make more resources available to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Economic inequalities are a major contributing factor in these cases. It is a proven fact that the majority of child abuse or neglect cases occur in impoverished families. Children that live in dangerous neighborhoods have a higher risk for neglect as well as sexual and physical abuse. Unemployment, mental illness, little to no health care are some of the many reasons a family will experience some level of poverty. Society needs to do everything it can to tackle these issues.
Environmental factors have a large impact on abuse and neglect. Communities need to monitor alcohol sales more closely, alcohol is known for its ability to impair judgment while increasing aggression. Many of illegal substances do the same things, more or less. Rehabilitation facilities need to be more readily available.
Professionals and educators need to make sure that there are programs for early childhood and education. They need to keep building relationships with families and be aware of red flags or signs of maltreatment. They need to understand their legal obligation to report abuse.
Child abuse and neglect will never completely go away, but there are many things that we, as a society, can do to decrease statistics and prevent it. We must continue to research assessment, prevention and treatment. Those treating the offenders need to be caught up on the most up to date methods. Parents and their children need to be educated (knowledge really is power!). Together we can work to prevent child abuse.



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