Child abuse prevention isn’t a topic I ever planned to write about. My sincere hope is that no one reading this ever needs the information herein, but sadly, I know better. I’ll preface this by saying I’m not an expert in child abuse prevention. My training is in positive parenting, which by nature, is the opposite of this very topic.
What I’d like to do, however, is list some of the resources that parents and caregivers might need, especially now while we’re all practicing social distancing. Stress levels are substantially higher than usual for most of us. Still, children are children–and they’re counting on us to keep them safe. As Dr. Vanessa Lapointe wrote, “we’re their best bet.”
My purpose in sharing this here is twofold: to empower adults who have no known connection to child abuse or abusers to educate others–and to offer resources to those who might need them directly.
Child Abuse Prevention or Intervention: Resources for Immediate Help
If you need to prevent or stop child abuse immediately, these organizations can help keep children safe when they’re in danger. At this time, to the best of my knowledge, these phone numbers and hotlines are unique to the U.S. If you’re outside the U.S., please find a comparable resource in your area and comment below so I can add their information here.
- Contact the National Child Abuse Hotline to chat online. You can also call them directly. Their number is 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). (U.S. number)
- The Child Welfare Information Gateway also offers a host of toll-free numbers — from child abuse prevention to suicide prevention, along with support for those who’ve been victims of sexual or domestic abuse.
- If you or your child are in an abusive situation, you can go to a designated Safe Place and await help. Look for the image below in windows of designated safe places as needed.
- If you’re trapped at home, these tips from Genesis Women’s Shelter can help (not specific to child abuse).
There are many other child abuse organizations at your disposal. Oftentimes, you need look no farther than your own city for a local resource. Call 9-1-1- if you’re experiencing an emergency. CPS is also an option (numbers vary by state).
From Prevent Child Abuse America, here are 10 Ways to Prevent Child Abuse.
Below is a modified synopsis of five of the suggestions that may be more pertinent during particularly stressful times:
- Be a nurturing parent. Lean on all the positive resources you can find.
- Help a friend, neighbor or relative who might need support with childcare; or ask for help with your own children.
- Take care of your emotional wellbeing. Here are some ways you can take a mental break even if you can’t leave your home.
- Remember that babies and children have fragile bodies.
- Monitor your child’s television, video, and internet viewing/usage, particularly for violent or inappropriate content. That said, if age-appropriate shows or games are a safe “babysitter” while you cool off emotionally, please use them.
Positive Parenting Resources
Day-to-day support and encouragement go a long way towards child abuse prevention. This is a list of positive parenting resources that I trust and would encourage others to follow. Many of them suggest ways families can simply function more peacefully. A home that feels peaceful for parents and kids alike is less likely to be a volatile space.
In the interest of time, I’m sharing only their Facebook pages for now, but will revise this with additional information for each resource I can locate. Why so many? Because I want parents and care givers to have access to as many helpful resources as they need until they find the ones that resonate best with them. Note that I alphabetized these people and organizations by FIRST name since those are often the most memorable. I’ve intended no offense by removing professional titles.
- Ann Douglas
- Arcanum Wholistic Clinic
- Connected Families
- Danay Savva
- Deborah Macnamara
- Dan Siegel
- Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting
- Elizabeth Pantley
- Empowered Mother
- The Gentle Mamma
- Green Child Magazine
- Hand In Hand Parenting
- Hey Sigmund
- Janet Lansbury
- Katie Hurley
- L.R. Knost
- Laura Markham
- Lemon Lime Adventures
- Life on Purpose Movement
- Lift a Kid Up
- Look with Love – Bridgett Miller
- Maggie Dent
- Natural Parent Magazine
- New Day Pediatric Psychology
- Neufield Institute
- A Place for You Early Childhood Consulting
- Positive Parenting Solutions
- Positive Parenting: Toddlers & Beyond
- Raised Good
- Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring
- Resilient Little Hearts
- Sarah Rosensweet
- Synergy Gentle Parenting
- Teacher Tom
- Tending Lambs
- Tina Payne Bryson
- Vanessa Lapointe
If I’m missing any you think I should add, please comment below and I’ll revise this as appropriate. I’ll share only credentialed groups or individuals and/or ones I personally follow and believe are solid resources for positive parenting.
Child abuse prevention is possible with your help.
I welcome suggestions for other tips you’d like me to include here. Together, let’s make the world safer for its kids. They’re counting on us.
Again, I am not credentialed when it comes to child abuse prevention, but there are many resources available to help you. Getting help is a strong and brave thing to do–please call on them if need be.
Sarah R. Moore is an internationally published writer and the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. She’s currently worldschooling her family. Her glass is half full.