I have been in the full swing of the National Child Advocacy Centers' “It’s My Body” campaign. One of the things I enjoy most about advocacy is spreading abuse awareness to the most important audience, children. You see children only know right from wrong from what they are taught either at home or by an educator. Most of the time, statistics show child abuse happens to children by someone they trust, someone they love. So if children are not taught that its unacceptable how are they to know? That’s why I feel teaching children the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect BEFORE it can happen to them is so critical.
Because of my years of advocacy, I’ve gained the privilege of being trained by the Child Advocacy Centers to travel around to elementary schools with “Happy Bear” educating children in their classrooms about the difference between a welcome and unwelcome touch. This is a true honor to me. It is two of my favorite things: children and my passion of spreading child abuse awareness. Knowing that children walk away with the knowledge to know that difference and what to do if it IS or ever were to happen to them. Encouraging them to take a stand and speak out to break the cycle of abuse, IS all that matters. Believe me, I’ve witnessed far too many times, the immediate cry out from the education of prevention this message has, and THAT’S why it’s so important you see.
The reality is child abuse and neglect is everywhere, it’s faux pas, no one likes to speak of it, or bring attention to it. But if we don’t raise awareness and educate for prevention, most children wouldn’t have the knowledge to know the difference to understand what is happening to them is wrong. Or they may be scared because their threatened or frightened to into not breaking the cycle of abuse and to make it stop, that’s why children need our help. Their only kids, they need our voice, they need our help, they need to know that it’s NOT OK and that someone out there can help them to make it stop. So I wanted to share with you just some of the signs and symptoms of child abuse so YOU know what to look for. After all, in most states here in the United States, even if you THINK a child is being abused or neglected, it’s the LAW you MUST take a stand and report it. I encourage you to remember some of these, pay close attention to your surroundings, and TAKE A STAND for children. If you SEE something, DO something!