We need to talk about child abuse prevention. Every day in the United States, between 4 and 7 young lives are ended by child abuse and neglect. From last year’s torture and murder of two young children in Redding to recent allegations of child abuse by a babysitter in Livermore, it is clear that our communities are suffering from one of the worst forms of violence, one that is made even more tragic by the fact that it is so easily preventable.
At STAND! For Families Free of Violence, we believe that the best way to prevent child abuse is through education and support for the whole family. As the leading provider of family violence services in Contra Costa County, STAND! empowers over 15,000 women, children and men each year to live violence-free lives and build safe and strong families. From free early childhood development programs, to parenting classes for new parents who have decided that the cycle of violence ends with them, to trauma-informed care for children and families at our emergency shelter, STAND! is committed to helping families develop healthy, nonviolent behaviors that break the cycle of family violence.
“Child abuse is such an important part of the problem of family violence,” explains Gloria Sandoval, Chief Executive Officer of STAND!. “Children who are abused by those who should be protecting them bear the scars of this trauma if they do not receive healing interventions. Too often this unhealed trauma results in becoming a victim of domestic violence or perpetrating violence as an adult.”
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, STAND! For Families Free of Violence encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Contra Costa County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect. By making meaningful connections with children, youth and families in our communities, we can spread awareness of family violence and work together to end the multi-generational cycle once and for all.
“Providing children and youth with a safe environment doesn’t stop with the family, says Sharon Turner, Prevention Services Director at STAND! “As part of the community we all have a part to play to ensure safe environments in the schools, places of worship and neighborhoods.
To help children who are at risk or are victims of violence, you can donate to STAND! by visiting support.standffov.org. For more information about child abuse prevention programs and activities during the month of April and throughout the year, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to standffov.org. Together, we can make our community safer for children and families.