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How to Volunteer to Help Children


Helping Abused Children

Too many children in the United States have to endure abuse -- even one child suffering is one too many.

Sadly, the occurrence of abuse is much higher than that -- alarmingly so. In the United States, it's estimated that abuse and neglect affect more than 900,000 children each year [source: Saisan]. You might automatically think of the visible bruising and scars that accompany physical abuse, but just as many children are scarred internally from verbal abuse or neglect.

One of the best things you can do for an abused child is to report the abuse. Never assume that it's a one-time occurrence. If you believe you've witnessed or know of child abuse, contact law enforcement as soon as possible. While it's tricky to distinguish abuse, it's better to be safe than sorry.

While detecting and reporting child abuse is vital, it is also just as important to assist with post-abuse trauma. There are thousands of organizations, local and national, that serve to protect abused children. One popular organization is Childhelp, an organization that works to promote child advocacy, abuse prevention and treatment, as well as community outreach [source: Childhelp].

Childhelp focuses on creating child abuse awareness in schools, including ways of recognizing and preventing abuse. The organization advocates talking with your own children about abuse and teaching them how to recognize it and its signs and symptoms. Discussion and awareness are important parts in the process of minimizing child abuse -- doing these simple things could even save a child's life.

There are so many ways to help children - and, sadly, there is never a shortage of children to help. For more information on how you can help, check out the links on the next page.