How to prevent child abuse

+22 votes
asked Jul 9, 2015 in Culture & Society by IanFoster731 (250 points)
I suspect that my neighbor’s daughters are getting abused by their own parents. It has been going on for months now. Initially, I suspected it was just the usual nagging and disciplining, but soon after I started hearing screams and yells of pain from the children. I wasn’t sure if I should intervene, but I’m my friend convinced me that I should. Then how am I supposed to do, and how to prevent child abuse in the first place?

2 Answers

+24 votes
answered Sep 6, 2015 by FelicitasLan (410 points)
It is us, the adults, who should take responsibility in keeping a safe haven for the children to grow up in. Many children have been subjected to physical and even sexual abuses, sometimes just being neglected.

First of all, if you are sure that the family is indeed abusing the children (often times, if you ask the family, they will just deny it or shrug it off as discipline), contact your local child protective service (CPS) and report on the child’s situation. Give them all the information they need so they could take the best course of action for the children and parents.

If it isn’t severe or not considered an abuse, CPS would send the parents off to the appropriate authority or services (e.g. parental counseling, alcohol abuse etc.). Or CPS might start their own investigation if the information you share prompts them to do so. Either way, you are to keep everything confidential to protect the children and the allegedly abusive parents. Any bad rumors spreading may only further alienate and isolate them and affect the intervention negatively.
+10 votes
answered Jul 20, 2015 by HXIChristian (400 points)
How to prevent child abuse… this is really a heavy subject to even talk about… well, the burden of prevention lies on the adults. Children are vulnerable, with no power to protect themselves from the more powerful adults. To start with, know that statistically, 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls had been sexually abused by the time they reach eighteen years of age. Just from that alone, it is likely that you know a child that is being or has been abused. By that, it is also likely that you know the abuser personally, often the unsuspecting family members (made up about 34% of the abusers). There is no way of telling them apart, appearing all nice and trustworthy. If you suspect that a child is indeed being abused, talk to the child. While you might need to make an effort to open up to the first, since they are afraid and all, it is very important to understand from the victim himself that they might be being abused unknowingly. Then keep watch of the family for a while. If you can confirm it, then report it to your local child protective service, they will know what to do from there onwards.
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