Child abuse is a serious problem that is seen across the world and in all different ethnic groups and class systems. A subject that many do not like to talk about, the first step to stopping child abuse and supporting our kids is through education. By educating yourself and others throughout your community about that can be done to prevent child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place, you are taking the first step towards rectifying this problem. Here at Atkins & Markoff, our family law attorneys have represented parents on numerous child abuse cases throughout the state of Oklahoma. We understand how emotional and stressful these types of cases are, which is why we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure we understand your specific situation and have all the information necessary to prosecute those responsible.
Unfortunately, the majority of child abuse cases happen at the hand of an adult who the child is familiar with and knows well. In fact, 93 percent of child sexual abusers are either related to or known well by their victim. When children are abused by adults, they become confused, as this person is supposed to be a protector, caretaker, and someone they can trust. In many cases, child abusers are “experts” at emotional manipulation of children, working to gain their trust before the actual abuse takes place. While this is undoubtedly a disturbing thought, the best way to protect our kids and hold their abusers accountable is through education and outreach. If your child has been the victim of abuse, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our lawyers will work relentlessly to ensure justice is served and your child’s abusers are placed behind bars.
Here are a few actions you can take in order to fight child abuse:
- Set a good example. Respect your family members and do your best to always use a courteous voice with them. When children are out of line or misbehave, let them know their actions were not appropriate, but this does not mean that you dislike them. Perhaps most importantly, always reward good behavior.
- Learn the facts and understand the risks. One in 4 girls and one in 6 boys will have been sexually abused by the time they turn 18. This is a shocking statistic that brings to light the importance of education and community awareness. By taking steps to no longer ignore the facts, you will be making a huge difference in preventing child abuse from taking place.
- Minimize opportunity. This can be tricky, but it is a good idea to encourage policies that limit one-adult/one-child situations in all youth-related activities. Since most abusers befriend the child and the child’s family to gain their trust, it is important to take this preventative measures for your child’s safety.
- Respect kids. As the old saying goes: treat others the same way you want to be treated. This should be no different for kids. By respecting children and treating them well, you will be creating a healthy foundation free of abuse.
- Talk about it. Children oftentimes keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking about it openly. In many cases, children don’t tell their parents about the abuse because they are afraid of disappointing their parents or disrupting the family. If communication lines are open and your children feel supported and safe, they are far more likely to confide in you if they are being abused.
- Stay alert. There aren’t always obvious signs that indicate a child is being abused, which is why you need to be on alert. Emotional and behavioral signs are more common than physical signs, so pay attention and take action if you notice something is off.
Child abuse is a serious matter that needs to be spoken about in order to better protect our children. To find out more about how our family law attorneys can help you with a child abuse case, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.