This week I'm on a mission that is something near and dear to my heart. November is Family Violence Prevention Month in Alberta. My belief is that there should not be a month for Family Violence Prevention. It is something that should never happen in the first place. This week I'm going to focus on child abuse.
Child abuse is a stigma on society, yet often it is covered up. Children are threatened with worse punishment if they tell. Friends and neighbors who suspect child abuse turn a blind eye and do not report it.
Child abuse is one of the leading causes of suicide in teens and the third leading cause of death in adolescents world wide. Each year one million children are exposed to commercial sexual exploitation. These statistics are astounding and it is you and I that have to step up to the plate and assure that children are protected.
Sexual and physical abuse are not the only types of abuse that exist. Yelling, screaming, swearing and other forms of verbal abuse cut to the quick. Children who fall victim to this type of child abuse are scarred for life. Cuts, burns and bruises will heal, but the mental and verbal abuse do not. Scars are embedded deep into the child's brain and heart and even when they are old themselves, the scars remain for they will never heal.
Did you Know?
* The average age of entry into the sex trade in Canada is between 14 years of age in British Columbia and 17 in Ontario?
* A major reason that young people leave home is in order to escape from sexual and/or physical abuse in their family--the average age they leave is 15?
* Close to one-third of teens between ages 14 and 19 who participated in a Canadian study had experienced some kind of childhood abuse or neglect?
* Children and youth who received high levels of negative parenting practices (i.e. physical punishment, scolding and yelling) were more likely to be involved in aggressive behaviours?
* Those who are abused as children are more likely to abuse their own children and the children of others?
* One in four girls and one in five boys are sexually abused before they reach the age of 15?
Symptoms of abuse vary from deep depression to taunting, teasing, passive or aggressive behavior, meltdowns, constant joking, belittling others, bullying, obsessive compulsive behavior, lying, cheating, stealing, frustration, excessive worrying and so much more, including frequent bruising, black eyes, burns and other physical signs. Keep your eyes and your heart open to stop child abuse now.
Child abusers are most often known to the child. Women abuse children as well as men.
Please help me in my Mission4Monday this week. If you suspect a child is being abused either physically, mentally, emotionally or sexually, report it. It is your duty. Help Stop Child Abuse! ~Blessings, Mary~