DID YOU KNOW???
- 1 in 10 children are sexually abused by the age of 18
- 1 in 5 children received a sexual solicitation while on the internet
- 90% of offenders are someone known to the child- not a stranger
When we talk about the prevention of child abuse, the most and often best strategies to prevent child abuse is directly related to supporting families before there is a crisis. Now, more than ever, families are struggling with the impact of the pandemic and the lack of support from their families, friends, community- their “village.” The support of one person can be a pivotal turning point for a family, a child to thrive and be successful. It is important to recognize there are community agencies around the state doing important work in the area of prevention to help families and children. You too, can find more resources and information below about how to support families and prevent child abuse.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO???
EDUCATE YOURSELF about the signs and symptoms of child abuse. There are many indicators of possible child abuse. Trust your instincts. If you suspect abuse, contact authorities.
Warning signs of possible child abuse:
- Persistent sexual play with other children, themselves, toys or pets
- Sexual knowledge in language and behavior beyond what is normal for their age
- Changes in behavior- withdrawn, aggression, depression, anxiety
- Regression to earlier behaviors
- Changes in school performance and attendance
- Unexplained injuries or unconvincing explanation of injuries
- Dramatic change in eating habits
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Poor hygiene
- Fear or dislike of a specific person or place
- High risk behaviors (drug/alcohol use)
Take the next step in educating yourself but completing the Mandated Child Abuse Reporting Training providing you with more understanding of your role as a citizen/resident of Tennessee but also someone who desires all children and families to be safe, healthy, and stable.
Believe the child
Allow the child to talk
Show interest and concern
Reassure and support the child
Panic or Overreact
Press the child to talk
Promise anything you can’t control
Confront the offender
Blame or minimize the child’s feelings of the situation
Be a safe adult. Teach children to come to you for help if anyone makes them feel scared or uncomfortable.
YOU are obligated to by law to report suspected child abuse and your concerns for the welfare of a child by calling 1-877-237-0004 or by completing an online referral HERE. These reports can be made anonymously, and information of the referent is keep confidential.
Other helpful resources and information regarding the prevention of child abuse, the support of families, and reporting can be found below:
- 2021/2022 Resource Prevention Guide developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Administration for Children and Families for more information
*Statistics and information pulled from a compilation of the resources and links provided.