The month of April is Child Abuse Prevention or Awareness month. It was first declared so by the American Presidential Proclamation in 1983. Since that time, April has become a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse.
Unfortunately in Nigeria, the rate of child abuse incidents keeps rising which is why it is very important that we talk about this today on the show.
Child Abuse Prevention Month, is dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse. This is to help ensure that every child grows up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect.
Child abuse is any form of physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment or neglect of a child by a parent or caregiver that results in actual or potential harm to that child. What this means is that even excessive beating a child is a form of child abuse.
According to research, 1 in 10 children suffer from some form of child maltreatment while 1 in 16 children suffer from child sexual abuse. Research also shows that there is a 70% rate of child sexual abuse involving children below the age of 5!
It is also important to note that most times Child abuse is usually perpetrated by someone a child actually knows and trusts.
This is not to scare you but help you understand that prevention is better than cure so get your child aware of what to look out for:
1. Let your child know the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors that might be directed to them.
2. Let them recognise when such boundaries are crossed.
3. Let them know that they MUST report when such boundaries are crossed.
4. Let them know they won't get into trouble for reporting such cases.