National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and support help protect children and produce thriving families.
Child abuse and neglect is a national issue that affects us all. The consequences of child abuse and neglect have a ripple effect across the lifespan of a child, negatively impacting a child’s chances to success in school, work and relationships.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risks for children in all circumstances, as families and communities may become isolated and face diminished resources. While children are spending additional time online for education and recreation during this pandemic, they are at an increased risk of online exploitation and cyberbullying.
What is child abuse? Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child.
NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE
1-800-4-A-CHILD or 1-800-422-4453
There are many forms of child abuse and precursors to abuse, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, grooming, bullying, cyberbullying and emotional abuse.
Approximately 86,694 children were removed from their home in FY 2019 because at least one parent had a drug abuse issue.
Parental/caregiver opioid and other substance misuse can have a devastating impact on children. Parents’ substance use may affect their ability to consistently prioritize the child’s basic physical and emotional needs over their own need for substances. The parent/caregiver substance use disorder and the possible violent and erratic behavior that may be associated, place the child at higher risk of being abused or neglected. The early trauma exposure makes children more likely to suffer mental health disorders including substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder later on in their lives.
Exposure to childhood trauma has a powerful adverse effect on life-long physical and mental health and is recognized nationally as a major public health issue. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can have a tremendous impact on broader lifelong health and wellbeing outcomes if left untreated.
Preventing child abuse and neglect can also prevent other forms of violence, as various types of violence are interrelated and share many risk and protective factors, consequences, and effective prevention tactics.
All parents and families need support in overcoming life’s challenges and providing prevention services and support will help children and families thrive. As a nation of cities, communities and neighborhoods, we can work together to protect children, spread awareness and educate others on how serious child abuse is and end the cycle of child abuse and neglect.
The inclusion of a link on this website does not constitute an official endorsement, guarantee, or approval by DEA.
Parental Substance Use and the Child Welfare System: www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/parentalsubabuse.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect:
American Academy of Pediatrics parenting website www.Healthychildren.org.
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-Child; 1-800-422-4453
National Children's Advocacy Center: www.nationalcac.org
Cyberbullying and Bullying: www.StopBullying.gov
National Center for Missing & exploited Children: www.missingkids.org
Pinwheels for Prevention: www.preventchildabuse.org/resource/pinwheels-for-prevention
United States Department of Justice:
Keeping Children Safe Online https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus/keeping-children-safe-online