According to the Child Welfare League of America, Alaska consistently has one of top 5 rates of child abuse in the United States. For every 1,000 children in Alaska, 42.2 were victims of abuse – that’s approximately 8,000 children.
Often we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem and are unsure about what we can do to prevent child abuse.
Here are a few things parents, grandparents, community members can do to help:
- Participate in the annual “Go Blue Day” on April 2, sponsored by the Alaska Children’s Trust and other partners.
- Read a book with a child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading with your baby from birth for several reasons, including nurturing and strengthening the bond between parent and child.
- Read a book with a child, again! Shared book reading can help mitigate harsh parenting practices and help reduce a child’s aggressive behavior, among other things. You can learn more about this and find recommendations around shared book reading here. We even have some suggestions about what books to read.
Looking for more tips?
Take a look at these tips from Alaska Strengthening Families:
- Parental Resilience
- Social Connections
- Knowledge of Parental & Child Development
- Concrete Support in Times of Need
- Social & Emotional Competence of Children
While many say it takes a village to raise a child, what it really takes is for every one of us to take responsibility for supporting children – and their families and caregivers – to stop the scourge of child abuse in Alaska.