Child abuse prevention: A winning hand for every child

April 01, 2019

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As parents, it may often feel like the deck is stacked against our kids, especially with current world events. With one in four children experiencing some form of child abuse or neglect in their lifetime, we may be reminded of our own childhood memories, as well as fears and stressors for our kids.

Even in these current times, what we know is - every child deserves a winning hand – a chance at a happy and healthy childhood. In a deck of cards, this is not always possible. However, a winning hand for every child can be a reality.

Although April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, bringing global awareness to child abuse throughout the year is imperative. CARES Northwest works to end child abuse, neglect, bullying, and domestic violence, every day. Therefore, CARES created “Child Abuse Prevention: A Winning Hand for Every Child,” to represent five ways they are doing this work, as well as provide tips for parents.

Educating our schools and students

CARES NW is involved with helping schools implement child sex abuse prevention. Oregon law requires schools to teach students about bullying, teen dating violence, and sex abuse prevention. CARES NW has created classes on each topic for middle school students and is partnering with schools to bring the information to all students in our community.

Tip: Find out what your school is doing to teach children and teens about bullying, dating violence, and sexual violence prevention and get involved.

Child abuse prevention: A winning hand for every child

Keeping our kids safe at school

CARES NW is meeting with representatives from Beaverton, Hillsboro, Portland, and Reynolds school districts to talk about violence prevention, focusing on creating kinder and safer classrooms and schools.

Tip: What are you doing to make your schools kinder and safer?  You could help students create a Kindness Club, put up signs about accepting and appreciating differences, or invite CARES NW to do an evening talk about supporting healthy teen relationships at your school or faith community.

Educating our communities

CARES NW partners with groups and organizations in the community, working with leaders to create child abuse prevention educational evenings for parents, and classes for middle and high school students.

Tip: What are you doing to support violence prevention in your community? Focusing on families is one way. Start a family fun night at your school, community center, or faith center.

Equity and inclusion

CARES NW knows that people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth experience increased levels of violence and abuse throughout their lifetime. Establishing a CARES NW Equity Committee supports a welcoming place for all people. And, our student curriculum is culturally inclusive.

Tip: What are you doing to promote equity? Get your family involved with local agencies that are focused on racial and gender equity, pay equity, affordable housing, and safe spaces for families and youth to connect and build community.

Teaching our kids about healthy relationships

CARES NW regularly teaches classes about the prevention of bullying, teen dating violence, and sexual violence, helping middle and high school students learn about healthy relationships, consent, boundaries, effective communication, and coping.

Tip: Help the youth in your community have healthy relationships. When opportunities arise, use TV, songs, videos, and books to spark conversation. Have a family fun night, support their passions, and encourage all youth in talking about their feelings and the pressures they feel to conform to gender norms.

Learn more about CARES Northwest.

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