February is Black History Month – a time to honor, celebrate, and learn more about Black history and culture.
This month, we would like to raise awareness for the disproportionate number of African American victims of child abuse and neglect. In 2014, African American Children experienced child abuse or neglect that led to fatalities at a rate two and a half times great than white or Hispanic children, according to The Black Child Legacy Campaign. Not only this, African American children are approximately 30% of the reported child abuse and neglect fatalities, while only making up about 16% of the U.S. child population.
These numbers are staggering.
When we look beyond these numbers, we see an even larger problem at hand – the prolonged effects of child abuse on individuals and communities, in this case specifically Black communities that are disproportionally affected by child abuse and neglect.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur to a child before the age of 18, the formative years of an individual’s brain. Child abuse, neglect, and sexual assault are considered an Adverse Childhood Experience. ACEs create lifelong physical and mental health conditions, along with other impacts to daily life from job retention, substance abuse disorders, and an inability to appropriately respond to stress. These experiences can put communities at a disadvantage for growing and prospering.
By helping to prevent child abuse, you are not only helping children and victims, but also helping to lift Black communities.
Here are a few ways you can take part in child abuse prevention:
Raise awareness for resources for victims and families. Child abuse victims who receive the necessary services and care to heal are less likely to continue the cycle of abuse. If you or someone you love has experienced abuse, contact Dawson Place today (455-789-3000).
Attend a training. At Dawson Place, we offer child abuse prevention trainings for community members. Check out our events page or contact us if you would like to attend one with a group of family or friends.
Know the signs of abuse. By knowing the signs of abuse, you can help stop it. Learn the signs.
Learn the facts about child abuse. There are lots of myths about child abuse,, these myths hinder a child’s ability to receive help during a crisis and stops adults from recognizing warning signs. Learn 5 common myths about child abuse.