April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month; a time to celebrate the good things our communities do to promote healthy child development, as well as a time to reflect on the work that still remains.
It only takes a minute…
To make a difference in a child’s life;
To believe in a child;
To listen to a child;
To hug a child;
To realize words hurt;
To talk to a child, and not yell;
To stop a child from being hurt;
To PREVENT CHILD ABUSE.
Unfortunately, thousands of Virginia children suffer abuse every year. In FY 2013, there were 51,346 children reported as possible victims of abuse and/or neglect. The Virginia Department of Social Services found that 6,205 children were maltreated, and of those, 29 children died as a result of abuse and/or neglect. The statistics can be overwhelming, but they are reminders that no one can afford to look the other way. It’s well worth our time as parents, grandparents and members of the community to “take a minute” to make a difference in a child’s life. Every minute invested in a child’s life is time well spent. Nurturing, protecting, praising, listening. Showing you care with a hug or smile. Taking a moment to say “I love you.” Small things can make a big difference in the life of a child.
I hope everyone reading this will “take a minute” and think about what you can do to make the children in your life feel more loved and valued. Then, take another minute to show those same children just how important they are to you.
I can’t think of a more gratifying way to spend a minute. Can you?
800-CHILDREN Parent Helpline Director