Greetings! As we continue to course through 2016, I would like to stop and highlight an important topic and public health issue.
Unfortunately, approximately 5 children die every day because of child abuse. As a result of child maltreatment, abused and neglected children are 11 times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult while others met the criteria for at least one psychological disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Child abuse is preventable and we all must do our part to prevent abuse and neglect before it starts.
Child maltreatment includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role (coach or teacher). The four common types of abuse are Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Emotional Abuse, & Neglect.
Abuse can happen to any child at any age and the few cases that we read about or see in the news are only a small part of the problem. The statistics are alarming! April is Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention Month.
I encourage you to do your part. You can improve your parent-child relationship and encourage others to do the same. Also, be an advocate for those that are unable to advocate for him/herself. God bless you!
This column was submitted in Christian Love by Erica L. Savage-Jeter, MD, MBA, FAAFP Health Ministry Leader, Wyatt’s Chapel Baptist Church.