Did you know that about one
in every 100 children is abused? Did you know an average of nearly five
children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect? These figures from
the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System are staggering, and the last
thing we want for our military children is for them to become just another
In my column last week, I
shared that in April, we celebrate Month of the Military Child. April also is
Child Abuse Prevention Month. Because of children’s importance to the Army
mission, we not only encourage and support our military children, we also seek
every opportunity to protect them. That is why we join with the MOMC efforts to
promote an awareness of the signs and negative effects of child abuse.
To do so, we must
understand abuse and neglect. According to the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Service’s Child Welfare Information Gateway, the following may be signs
of child abuse or neglect:
• Shows sudden changes in
behavior or school performance
• Has not received help for
physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention
• Has learning problems – or difficulty
concentrating – that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological
• Is always watchful, as though
preparing for something bad to happen
• Lacks adult supervision
• Is overly compliant,
passive or withdrawn
• Comes to school or other activities
early, stays late and does not want to go home
• Shows little concern for the
• Denies the existence of – or
blames the child for – the child’s problems in school or at home
• Asks teachers or other caregivers
to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
• Sees the child as entirely bad,
worthless or burdensome
• Demands a level of physical
or academic performance the child cannot achieve
• Looks primarily to the child
for care, attention and satisfaction of emotional needs
THE PARENT AND CHILD
• Rarely touch or look at each
• Consider their relationship
• State they do not like each
So what can we do to
prevent this behavior?
As a parent, recognize your
limitations and know it’s OK to seek help. Army parents know it is a sign of strength
to ask for professional help to keep their children safe from harm.
For example, explore the resources
offered through Army Community Service. The Family Advocacy Program and its
associated programs, like the New Parent Support Program, Exceptional Family Member
Program and Military Family Life Consultants are all available to help families
deal with the challenges of military life and parenting.
FAP also provides commander
and troop education, parent education programs that include free child care, child
safety classes and stress management classes.
To arrange for a class,
call FAP at 785-239-9435 or visit the ACS page at www.riley.army.mil under
Family Services or www.rileymwr.com.
Remember, together, we can
prevent child abuse.
If you would like to comment on this article or
suggest a topic for Community Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fortrileygc.