Why Get Involved?
Why Get Involved?
By Lala Fogarty
See a child being abused in a parking lot? Why get involved? Suspect your neighbor or your friend or a co-worker of child abuse? Why get involved? There are many reasons, or justifications we all make in order to turn the other way and avoid the confrontation that comes with acknowledging child abuse. I’ve made some of the same excuses that some of you probably have. I don’t want to make it worse. What if I’m wrong? I don’t want to hurt her feelings or make her think I am judging her. And the list goes on. So many reasons not to get involved, but how about if we take a look at a few of the reasons to get involved?
Isn’t a child’s safety more important than your inconvenience? Isn’t a child’s health and well-being more important than someone else’s hurt feelings or embarrassment? Isn’t a child’s welfare more important than your level of discomfort?
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving nearly 6 million children. The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths. We can do better. Child abuse stops when WE stop it through prevention, intervention, and recovery.
Consider the following:
Children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime.
3.6 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the U.S. And the number of children involved in these reports is 6 million.
About 80 percent of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
14 percent of all men and 36 percent of all women in prison were abused as children.
Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25 percent more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
Abused and neglected children are 11 times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult.
Think child abuse doesn’t affect you, or your life? Think again. Child abuse impacts us all – if you take a moment to consider the cost, the societal woes it creates, and the ripples that come from the source of both the abuser and the abused, you will come to realize that child abuse is everybody’s problem.
Why get involved, because like it or not, you already are.