Positive practices emphasized during Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Michiel DeVito Family Advocacy Program Manager, DLA Installation Management Columbus

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and serves as an annual observation to raise awareness of child abuse and prevention.  The statistics about child abuse are stark – in 2018, approximately 678,000 children in the U.S. were found to be victims of child abuse or neglect.

This April, our approach to promoting awareness of child abuse prevention is so very different. Typically, we publish statistics, hold a parade, plant pinwheels, erect banners of children playing and laughing, and reach out to our community with information tables.  Those activities are not possible in our current environment but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to raise awareness about preventing child abuse.

If you have children, you’re probably reading this from your home, trying to balance teleworking, wrangling your children and wondering who gave your child the annoying noisy toy that seems to NEVER run out of batteries! All of us are going to be pushed to our limits in the coming days as we adjust to this new normal, and it is particularly challenging to children.  So, how about some ways to reduce stress and focus on activities and positive practices that you can do at home?

• Set a schedule and then be flexible!  Remember your old schedule was based on a very different lifestyle. We’re not moving as much, we’re eating differently and we don’t have our usual social interactions. Build your new schedule around these new factors.

• Find resources!  MWR has developed several resource webpages during this new “normal.” The CDC Story Time webpage features videos of CDC teachers and staff reading and singing.  The Virtual Family Resource webpage has links to counseling and crisis resources, education, virtual trips, story times and zoos. 

• Most importantly, reach out and keep connected.  We might be social distancing but we can keep connected!