April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse happens in many forms such as neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional/ psychological abuse. What would you do if you suspected possible child abuse?
My children are still small and I look forward to when they will be able to do things for themselves- bathe themselves, wash dishes, feed the pets, vacuum. Hmm, I guess you could say I look forward to these things for my own sake.
But what about fun outside activities like going to the park? Riding a bike? At what age can we just say, “See ya” and let them run about?
Over the weekend, I noticed small children unattended at our community playground. Now I am questioning when children develop enough independence to be on their own outside the home, but I do know that it’s not between the ages of 3-6 as the case was for these particular children.
Seeing this automatically made me feel responsible for their safety. If one of them fell and hurt themselves, I wasn’t going to just stand by and watch. I would certainly assist the child and call for help. Eventually I noticed a girl about 12-14 years old a good distance away chatting on her cell phone. The kids went to her to leave. I’m guessing she was a babysitter or an older sister.
I couldn’t help but wonder what I would have done if the children had been there alone. Who would I call? I did find this information to report abuse: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/reslist/rl_dsp.cfm?rs_id=5&rate_chno=11-11172, but what if it wasn't as bad as I thought?
Have you ever been in this sort of situation? What did you do? Being that I’m not a confrontational person, I don’t know if I would have the guts to approach the parent had I seen him or her. Would you say something to the parents? If so, what would you say?
The more we talk about what we can do as a community, the more we can prevent child abuse from happening.