Child abuse is terrifying, sad, and senseless!
I believe no one wakes up in the morning and says “Today I am going to hurt my child.”
Unfortunately, child abuse occurs anyway.
A definition for child abuse is an injury or pattern of injuries that is not an accident.
Child abuse includes non-accidental physical harm, abandonment, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, biting, harmful confinement, beatings, and use of a weapon, instrument or an action resulting in injury or death.
Sexual abuse may include showing or exposing genitals to a child, inappropriate touching of a child’s genitals, and penetration of a child’s privates.
Neglect includes lack of proper supervision, not sending your child to school, failure to provide food, water, clothing, medical treatment, and abandonment.
Emotional and verbal mistreatment is part of child abuse that sometimes hinders a child’s psychological growth. When children are criticized, made fun of, laughed at, mocked, and teased, placed in danger, or harassed, it harms their self esteem.
In 2008, Bullitt County had 189 physical abuse cases, 56 cases of sexual abuse, and 492 cases of neglect reported.
In 2009, physical abuse reports increased to 271 and reports of neglect were up also at 796.
These numbers are too high. One report and verification of child abuse is one too many.
If anyone suspects a child is being abused, call 1-888-403-5090 toll free. It is a free call and you don’t have to leave your name.
So what can a first time parent do?
Enroll in HANDS (Health Access Nurturing Development Services). HANDS, a FREE program provided by the Bullitt County Health Department, teaches first time parents about child development and parenting skills.
Enrolling in HANDS is easy for the first time Mom or Dad.
Just call 502-955-5668 ext. 129 to sign up for this great program!
HANDS have classes on reducing stress and how to deal with all the challenges that a new born baby brings.
The parent who is more aware of the child’s development and capabilities is more relaxed and less frustrated which, in turn, reduces the chance of abuse.