Prevention of child abuse and neglect is not the sole responsibility of any single agency or professional group; rather it is a shared community concern. Effective strategies require multiple actions at the individual, family, and community levels to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors.
As a parent, what can I do to prevent child abuse?
- Practice disciplining your children in a calm, thoughtful way.
- Give yourself time to cool off rather than punishing in anger.
- Show your children ways that conflicts can be resolved with words rather than hitting or hurting.
- Talk with your children everyday and listen carefully to what they say about their lives.
- Be alert to changes in their behavior or emotions and talk calmly with them if you are concerned.
- Teach your children that their bodies are their own and that they can say no to touches that feel bad or confusing. Talk with them about privacy to help them learn good boundaries and reassure them that it is ok to say no to things that violate their privacy – even if they are saying no to an adult.
- Teach your children to tell you if they are approached, talked to or touched in a way that hurts, scares or confuses them. Reassure them that you will not be angry with them, but want to help them stay safe.
- Help your children think about what they would do if something confusing or scary happened to them. Talk about different scenarios or play the “what if” game. This will help them identify ways to help themselves be safe and to think about the adults they can turn to for help in different places such as school, the park, the library, and church.
You may call our 24 hour Hotline to report suspected child or adult abuse at
1-800-340-5411 or 760-932-7755.
Your report is always confidential and can be anonymous.