SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Child abuse numbers continue to rise in Utah each year. Prevent Child Abuse Utah’s motto is “Prevention. EDUCATE. ENGAGE, EMPOWER. Through education.”
Experts say when a child is young their guardians narrate life’s simple occurrences. By the time children become verbal, parents stop life narration.
“When our children are born we narrate the world. So, infants and toddlers, we’re talking to them constantly….,” says Rebecca Virgo, Interim Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah.
Children gain their own understanding of the world around them and caretakers stop taking advantage of the opportunity.
Virgo advises continuing verbalizing your outward and inward emotions even after children learn to experience the world on their own.
Continuing the explanation teaches them it’s OK to not understand things on your own. Continuing the conversations also teaches children that feeling negative thoughts is apart of human nature.
The most common age of an abuser is 14 years old, Virgo says.
Young brains and bodies are changing fast, preventing abuse starts with giving your child the tools to control their various feelings and act based on what they’ve been taught.
“The expectation for you to act as an adult is really high in many places that you’re just supposed to know what to do….and you don’t. But you’re also old enough that you don’t want to ask anymore,” Virgo says.
Virgo says at the end of the day “You are the expert on your child you may not understand all the neurological workings and the hormones and all of the things that are going on, but you know them best.”
For more information on Prevent Child Abuse Utah, click here.