Most cases of child abuse or neglect are not committed by inherently violent people, but by people who are unable to handle the stress they face. Parental stress can contribute to a parent or caregiver's inability to control their emotions and their temper. When that happens, abuse can happen too. Life circumstances can also leave parents unable to care for their children in the way they would like. The loss of a job, an unexpected illness or injury, or an eviction notice can add pressure to an already stressful family situation.
Child abuse and neglect occur in all segments of our society, but the risk is greater when parents are dealing with situations such as:
Financial, housing or personal problems.
Isolation from family and community.
Difficulty controlling anger or stress.
Physical or mental health issues.
Alcohol or drug abuse.
Lack of interest in the care, nourishment or safety of their children.
By helping parents who might be struggling with any of these challenges, you reduce the likelihood that their children will be abused or neglected. Reach out to the children, too, and show them you care.
Be a parent’s friend. Ask about their children. Provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to baby-sit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.
Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another’s children. Encourage a supportive spirit. Show you are involved.
Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve financial stress.
Contact your school district, library or faith group about support programs for parents and how you can help. Encourage them to sponsor classes and develop resources for parents.
Volunteer your time and money for community programs that support children and families.
Refer parents to us. Our website gets them quick access to the resources available to them.