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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, December 14, 2015

4 Things Black Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids From Child Abuse

African American child abuse

Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children. Over 20 percent of these are sexual abuse, according to Childhelp, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children affected by abuse. In the black community, this subject is often not discussed, but it's time to speak up in order to protect your children.

What parents need to do:

#1 - Watch for signs of abuse: This can include physical complaints such as stomach aches and headaches. Abused children often withdraw and no longer engage in the activities they used to enjoy. These are often sudden changes in a child's behavior for which there seems to be no obvious reason.

#2 - Talk to your child: The worst thing you can do is ignore it. It will not go away. You need to talk to your child and ask them questions such as "Is there anything bothering you or is there anything that you want to talk about?” It make take several questions to get to the bottom, but keep probing. You want to get to the root cause, so begin by asking them if anything happened at school. Then ask if anyone has been hurting them.

#3 - Find a doctor who can help: This is important. If sexual abuse has occurred, the child needs to be seen by a professional. This can include their pediatrician, a school guidance counselor, or another professional counselor. They can then recommend further treatment if necessary.

#4 - Seek help to get your child away from their abuser: This step is best done through child and family services, and law enforcement if necessary. If a child has indeed been abused, it will likely not stop unless the child is protected from their abuser.

Remember, sexual abuse against children can affect both boys as well as girls!
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.