A winning hand
As parents, it may often feel like the deck is stacked against our kids, especially with recent world events. With 1 in 4 children experiencing some form of child abuse or neglect in their lifetime, it can bring up memories of our own childhood, as well as fears and stressors for our kids, wondering why we were dealt cards we don’t want.
Even in these current times, what we know is - every child deserves a winning hand. In cards, this is not always possible. However, a winning hand for every child can be a reality.
Although April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, bringing global awareness to child abuse each year, CARES Northwest works to end child abuse, neglect, bullying, and domestic violence, every day. Therefore, CARES NW has created “Child Abuse Prevention: A Winning Hand for Every Child,” to represent five ways they are doing this work, as well as provide tips for parents.
Child Abuse Prevention: A Winning Hand for Every Child
Ace of Hearts: CARES NW is involved with helping schools implement child sex abuse prevention. Oregon law requires schools teach students about bullying, teen dating violence and now sex abuse prevention. CARES NW has created classes on each topic for middle school students and is partnering with schools to bring the information to all students in our community.
Your Ace of Hearts: Find out what your school is doing to teach children and teens about bullying, dating violence, and sexual violence prevention.
King of Hearts: CARES NW is meeting with representatives from Beaverton, Hillsboro, Portland, and Reynolds school districts to talk about violence prevention, focusing on creating kinder and safer classrooms and schools.
Your King of Hearts: What are you doing to make your schools kinder and safer? You could help students create a Kindness Club, put up signs about accepting and appreciating differences, or invite CARES NW to do an evening talk about supporting healthy teen relationships at your school or faith community.
Queen of Hearts: CARES NW partners with others in the community, working with community leaders to create child abuse prevention educational evenings for parents, and classes for middle and high school students.
Your Queen of Hearts: What are you doing to support violence prevention in your community? Supporting families is one way. Start a family fun night at your school, community center, or faith center.
Jack of Hearts: CARES NW knows that people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth experience increased levels of violence and abuse throughout their lifetime. Establishing a CARES NW Equity Committee supports a welcoming place for all people. And, our student curriculum is culturally inclusive.
Your Jack of Hearts: What are you doing to promote equity? Get involved with local agencies who are focused on racial and gender equity, pay equity, affordable housing, and safe spaces for families and youth to connect and build community.
10 of Hearts: CARES NW regularly teaches classes about the prevention of bullying, teen dating violence, sexual violence, and shaken baby prevention, helping middle and high school students learn about healthy relationships, consent, boundaries, effective communication, and coping.
Your 10 of Hearts: Help the youth in your community have healthy relationships. When opportunities arise, use TV, songs, videos, and books to spark conversation. Have a family fun night, support their passions, and support all youth in talking about their feelings and the pressures they feel to conform to gender norms.
Learn more about CARES Northwest.
For media inquiries, contact Ashley Stanford Cone.
(Thank you to Sally Blackwood at CARES Northwest for contributing to this article.)