Prevention / Education

In order to prevent child abuse in our community, each of us must educate ourselves about abuse and make a personal commitment to stand up for children.  We must do this as individuals, organizations, and, ultimately, as a community.  We hope that this section of our website will provide you with the knowledge and tools to advocate for children.  We will also share with you some of the educational programming McMahon/ Ryan’s Community Outreach Coordinators provide to the schools and community.  If you are a school professional, parent, or person working for children, and want to discuss ways to keep children safe, please contact us at (315) 701-2985 or email us at mcmahonryan.org.

School programs are designed to empower children to help them learn safety skills, identify adults that can help them if they feel unsafe, and TELL an adult if someone is hurting them.  We believe that teaching kids that their body belongs to them is just a start.  Parents, school professionals, and other adults that care about and work with children should also have appropriate tools to help children in need.

To further help you in discussing these issues with children, we have developed a comprehensive list of books and websites.  Your local library and bookstore can help you locate these books.

While we agree that preventing child abuse can seem like a daunting task, there are things that each of us can do to prevent child abuse in our community.  Here is a short-list of positive actions we can take as a start to ending child abuse:

  1. Be an adult that is dedicated to keeping kids safe.
  2. Learn about the problem of child abuse.
  3. Volunteer at or support an agency that helps children.
  4. Talk to your kids about their bodies. Make sure they know their body belongs to them.
  5. If you notice a change in a child’s behavior, talk to them about it. Also, talk to other adults in the child’s life to see if they have noticed something similar.
  6. If you suspect abuse, report it.

In addition, we can all do at least one thing to prevent child abuse.  This is as simple as noticing a child is standing alone.  Keep an eye out for that child.  When you notice that a mother is struggling to open a door because her hands are full and she is ushering young children, help her.  If your friend is stressed and needs a few hours off from childcare responsibilities, take the kids for ice cream.  These simple acts of kindness may seem disconnected from child abuse, but it’s about all of us taking accountability and ownership for the safety and well-being of children.  And once you do one thing, maybe you’ll want to do more - or maybe someone will see you and join in.  The best part is, you will be keeping kids in our community safe and partnering with us to prevent child abuse.

If you suspect that a child is being abused, call Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720