Ohio Wears Blue: Child Abuse Prevention Month

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You read in your local newspaper: “Cincinnati Child, 4, Tortured and Beaten to Death, Both Parents Facing Charges.” You shake your head and say “How horrible!” Then you carry on about your day, or maybe mention the child abuse story to a few friends as a topic of discussion.

Within the first few hours of having my daughter, I would tear up or cry because I would look at this helpless little baby because I would think about those stories you hear of a child being abused to death. I would hold her and look at her, promising her that I would do my very best to never ever let anything happen to her. How could anyone do something to a little thing like this? It was just so heartbreaking to think about. My daughter is now 3 and I still hold her, look at her, and say the same thing. I do and say the same to my son.

abuse

As much as a parent, family member, friend or close acquaintance prays it does not happen, it still can, as it did to these children, just to name a few:

Gabriel Fernandez – 8 years old from Los Angeles, California. Died May 21, 2013. (You can watch the documentary on Netflix.)

Anthony Avaloz – 8 years old from Mojave Desert, California. Died June 21, 2018.

Aiden Marin – 2 years old from Cincinnati Ohio. Died Jan. 10, 2018.

Noah Cuatro – 4 years old from Palmdale, California. Died July 6, 2019.

Takoda Collins – 10 years old from Dayton, Ohio. Died Dec. 13, 2019.

Gabriel Clouse – 2 months old from Dayton Ohio. Died Feb 5, 2020.

Child abuse comes in many forms and it’s not just the physical abuse that leaves a mark. According to helpguide.org, there are 4 types of abuse:

  1. Emotional Abuse: Including but not limited to constant yelling, belittling, exposing child to violence against others, constant shaming or belittling, and more.
  2. Child Neglect: Failing to provide a child with basic needs to live and thrive like food, clothes to hygiene and more.
  3. Physical Abuse: Intentionally hurting a child or going too far with physical punishment as a way to discipline, “keep-in-check,” “keep-in-line,” etc; also done to instill fear in a child or assert control.
  4. Sexual Abuse: IT DOESN’T ALWAYS INVOLVE BODY CONTACT! Simply exposing them to sexual situations or materials is considered sexual abuse. The child is filled with guilt and shame, which makes it very challenging for them to come forward with it. They may not even know that it’s wrong.

Some things I’m doing that were mentioned in helpguide.org’s article:

  • Lowering my expectations of my children, who are only 2 and 3. Learning what is age-appropriate and what isn’t is helpful. REMEMBER, each child is different and is at their own stage.
  • Seeing what else I can do instead of what was done with me. This is developing a new parenting style and IT’S NOT EASY! Yelling and spanking are what I know because it was done with me and my brother. HOWEVER, that’s not how I want to continue with my children. I have a mentor who guides me and gives me ideas. One simple one is saying things only once, then getting up and guiding your child to do it by pointing. Another is instead of yelling their names, walk up to them and place your hand on their shoulders and then say their name.
  • GET MORE REST and support if you can. Sleep deprivation is so harmful and will affect your mood negatively, thus affecting the way you interact with your children negatively. I do my best to go to bed early and take naps no matter how much work I have to do.
  • Emotional Intelligence! This is TOUGH! You can read books, listen to videos, get some professional help/coaching. It’s totally retraining your brain and helping you verbalize and describe your emotions. I often tell my child to use her words, and I have to do the same. It’s ok to say “I’m really frustrated right now and I need some space to calm down” and then sit on the stairs, read a book, or sing a song.
  • Something else I do is call a friend to talk and vent. It’s helpful!

For more information on knowing the signs of child abuse or neglect, or what it does to a child, how you can help yourself, please talk to someone professional or visit this site.

All of this is why Ohioans are encouraged to wear blue in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Wear blue to show support for preventing child abuse and neglect on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. 

Take some pictures of you wearing blue with friends and family and use #OhioWearsBlue when sharing on social. Click here for more details and visit the Ohio Wears Blue Facebook page.

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Currently a stay at home mompreneur, I am always on the look out for ways to incorporate multiple streams of income into my life so that I may continue to have the flexibility and availability I enjoy with my two young children. I founded Transparent Investment Solutions, LLC and Renewed Fitness Vibrations, LLC to help me live out my God given purpose; offering individual different tools that will help them achieve their dreams and goals. My personal goal is to be an example to other women so they too can achieve financial independence and live the lifestyle they were destined to live. Always seeing myself as a student, I also want to inspire others to be inspired to find their own way in life, while passing on what whatever I have learned. My favourite quotes that motivate me are: " It's not over until I win" and "You can achieve all things through God".

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