Hope Shining for Child Abuse

by Jennifer Donovan

5 Minutes for Mom wants to be here to bring you the best information.

Sometimes (often!) it’s about fun products that you and your families will love, sometimes it’s about a sister in the blogosphere who needs our support, and other times it’s about providing you with information you need on such topics as drug abuse.

Today’s topic is child abuse.

Secrets oproduct87880_thumbnail.jpgf Charm, best known for their vintage-inspired clothes worn by celebrities such as Michelle Williams, has designed a collection of accessories to help raise awareness about child abuse. Included in this collection is the “Hope Shining scarf,” which has been featured on various magazine covers and adorned by actresses like Law and Order’s Stephanie March. The proceeds from the sales go directly to child abuse awareness and advocacy programs, such as Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization. The scarf is just one item from the Hope Shining accessories collection, which can be viewed and purchased at the following site:tie.jpg http://www.co-store.com/hopeshop.

100% of the proceeds from the Hope Shining items will be used to raise funds and generate awareness about child abuse as well as the Hope Shining campaign, a national initiative to help provide healing and support for abused children. Every purchase includes the “10 Signs of Child Abuse” tip card which will encourage everyone to learn the signs of abuse and educate others. The proceeds will also be used to purchase basic materials needed at Child Advocacy Centers which help abused children restore their lives, such as baby formula, books, diapers, clothing, blankets, building blocks, puzzles, and crayons.

10 SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE

1. Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.

2. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.

3. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, e.g., for older children: thumb-sucking, bed-wetting or fear of the dark; for younger children: loss of acquired language, memory problems.

4. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them.

5. Changes in eating. The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss.

6. Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares, have difficulty falling asleep or may appear tired or fatigued.

7. Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating and have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from authorities.

8. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for and may be wearing unsuitable clothing for the weather.

9. Risk-taking behaviors. Young people who are being abused may engage in illegal activities such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.

10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.

Some signs that a child is experiencing violence or abuse are more obvious than others. Trust your instincts. Suspected abuse is enough of a reason to contact the authorities. You do not need proof.

IF YOU SUSPECT A CHILD HAS BEEN ABUSED…

Do

• Keep calm.

• Believe the child.

• Show interest and concern.

• Reassure and support the child.

• Take action. It can save a child’s life.

Don’t

• Panic or overreact.

• Pressure the child.

• Confront the offender.

• Blame the child or minimize the child’s feelings.

• Overwhelm the child with questions.

If you’d like to help this cause, consider browsing a bit at the Hope Shining Company Store and making a purchase or a donation.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 brandy w June 26, 2008 at 1:12 pm

thanks so much on posting this. this is very near and dear to my heart.

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2 Britt Williams June 26, 2008 at 1:43 pm

love the hope shining scarf! I’ve seen so many famous people wearing it too!

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3 Allison Glass June 26, 2008 at 1:46 pm

What a great cause! Thanks for posting on such an important topic.

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4 Andrea June 27, 2008 at 7:16 am

Thanks for making me aware of this great cause. Reading through that list of signs made me sick to my stomach, because it clearly called to mind a family I knew as a child. They were never clean, and I remember the six-year-old boy broke his pelvis once. (I don’t remember what the explanation was.) The thing that gave me chills was the number ten. That little boy was only six and used to talk about sex all the time! I wish I knew where that family was now…

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