Sunday, April 14, 2013

The PREVENTION of Child Abuse Should be Our Ultimate Goal

“The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent.”  James T. Walsh  (U.S. Politician)

No one argues that child abuse is a horrific crime.  Whether that abuse is physical or emotional, the victims are left to deal with the scars of that abuse for the rest of their lives.

Our laws tend to place the emphasis on dealing with the aftermath of Child Abuse.  We have programs to help the victims as well as methods of prosecuting the perpetrators.

I think it is time we change that focus.  As a nation, we need to place our focus on stopping child abuse in all its forms.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a perfect time for our emphasis to be placed squarely on the word “Prevention”.

As I have written in a previous post, there are two different categories of abuse:

  • Domestic – abuse by a family member or caregiver

  • Institutional – abuse within a facility or a program such as schools, day care centers, after school programs or sports teams

The abuse in each of these cases can cover physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.

Our goal as a society should be to recognize where abuse occurs and vow to do everything in our power to prevent any child from being a victim.  The question then becomes, “What Can We Do?”.

I believe we can all pledge to:

  • Prevent the Abuse – Undoubtably our best tool and is to take a “proactive” approach.  We must require all people who come in contact with our children to undergo a Background Check.  I would also suggest this be repeated every 2 years in order to prevent those committing more recent crimes from slipping through the cracks.  This should not be at the discretion of each institution, but national law.  Consistency is the key here.

  • Support Programs of Education and Stress Management - Providing our communities with the resources to aide parents and other adults who come in contact with children is crucial.  These programs should educate on how best to deal with the stresses of child care.  We also must make safe and affordable child care available to all.

  • Encourage Open Discussion about Abuse – We need to make sure that the subject of abuse is “brought into the light”.  Every child needs to be equipped with the knowledge that abuse can occur in many different places and they should never feel embarrassed or at fault for the actions of an adult.   

  • Provide “Safe Havens” to Report the Abuse -  It is also necessary to provide every child with the tools to know what to do and where they can go if they feel uneasy or unsafe.  They also need to recognize they will be believed and helped there.

The Prevention of Child Abuse needs to fall on the shoulders of our society’s adults.  We must make it our duty to protect our children and provide for them a world where they are safe and encouraged to succeed.  Only then will our society be truly great.  After all, our children are our future.

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German Theologian)

If you would like additional information on how Background Checks can be tools for safety, please visit my website at and my Facebook page.  Thanks!

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