Maggie M. Pennsylvania

Ending Child Abuse

We need new strategies to help spread awareness about child abuse.

Dear Future President,

We have many issues going on in our nation right now. Watching the presidential debates, it is clear that candidates are doing their best to find solutions for the issues, and yet still, some of the most prominent go undiscussed. One of those particular issues is child abuse. According to Time Magazine, four to sixteen percent of children living in high-income nations such as the U.S are abused. However, only about one out of every ten cases is reported. Some of the main reasons why this maltreatment is so rarely reported is because onlookers are either not sure that children are being abused, or because people who have witnessed the abuse are afraid to speak up.

We need to find a way to encourage people to report child abuse. Many people justify child abuse by claiming that the children are simply being disciplined. There is a fine line between scolding a child, or giving them a spanking, and hitting a child, or sexually abusing them. Every school should be legally required to inform children about child abuse, what to do if it happens to them, and the difference between discipline and abuse. The children need to be assured that in the case of child abuse, there is a designated trusted adult they should talk to, who will always believe them. The public should be made more aware of what to do when they suspect child abuse is taking place, through television, radio, and internet ads, and flyers sent in the mail.

Another thing that may be a great help is an app. The organization PAVE (People Against a Violent Environment) has an app that is available in the app store. I believe that this app, or a different app containing information about abuse and how to report it, should be automatically installed in every phone, iPad, or iPod that is sold. This way, anyone who has a mobile device and suspects that someone they know is being abused will have all the information they need right at their fingertips.

If the future president could attempt to enact some of these strategies, it would make a major difference in the lives of abused children across the country. Thank you for reading.

Bala Cynwyd Middle School

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