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15 Ways to Stand Up for Kids

1. Know the signs. Unexplained injuries aren't the only signs of abuse. Depression, fear of a certain adult, difficulty trusting others or making friends, sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility are often signs of family problems and may indicate a child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.


​2. Educate yourself. Sign up for an in-person Stewards of Children training at the Lakeshore Children’s Advocacy Center or a virtual Keeping Kids Safe training with the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Michigan.


3. Make the most of the nine minutes each day that have the greatest impact on a child: the first three minutes right after they wake up, the first three minutes when they get home from school, and the three minutes right before bed.


4. Know what child abuse is. Physical and sexual abuse clearly constitute maltreatment, but so does neglect, or the failure of parents or other caregivers to provide a child with needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be emotionally abused when they are rejected, berated, or continuously isolated.


5. Volunteer at your local school or youth center.


6. Teach children their rights. When children are taught they are special and have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault, and more likely to report an offender.


7. Support community programs. Simple support for children and parents can be the best way to prevent child abuse. After-school activities, parent education classes, mentoring programs, and respite care are some of the many ways to keep children safe from harm. Be a voice in support of these efforts in your community.


8. Get involved with other parents in your community. Help vulnerable children and their families. Join a playgroup. 


9. Teach children to practice digital citizenship and make sure they know how to use technology safely. Set up safeguards to protect your child’s digital experience. 


10. Support the CAC by purchasing an item from our Wish List


11. Teach children the proper names for body parts. Just as you teach your children that a nose is a nose, they need to know what to call their private parts. This knowledge gives children the correct language for understanding their bodies, for asking questions and for telling about any behavior that could lead to sexual abuse.


12. Set clear family guidelines for personal privacy and behavior. Discuss them with all members of your family and model respecting these guidelines.


13. Report abuse. If you witness a child being harmed or see evidence of abuse, make a report to your state's child protective services department [1-855-444-3911 in Michigan] or local police. When talking to a child about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling an adult, and affirm that he or she is not responsible for what happened.


14. Invest in kids. Encourage leaders in the community to be supportive of children and families. Ask employers to provide family-friendly work environments. Ask your local and national lawmakers to support legislation to better protect our children and to improve their lives.


15. Learn about your local CAC – Lakeshore Children’s advocacy Center – and support our work to protect children:

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