Community-Based Research Suggests Child Abuse Can Be Prevented . . . .

K(no)w More

Child abuse CAN be prevented - but only if we work together.

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Our county is optimistic:

Many people in Lane County believe we can reduce child abuse and want to help – 86% believe that “we can very significantly reduce child abuse and neglect” in our community.

Child abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, kids seeing or hearing intimate partner violence (domestic violence), and neglect.

When polled, more than 85% of a random selection of Lane County residents agreed that the most important ways to reduce child abuse and neglect are:

  • Support. If all people received the emotional support they needed, we would significantly reduce child abuse.

  • A local plan. If there were a long-term, community-wide effort to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, we could help end it.

  • A role for everyone. Personal action makes a difference – every person, neighborhood, group, organization, business, and entity has a role to play in reducing child abuse and neglect.

The harmful impact of child abuse is compounded by silence

Children often do not share their trauma – and receive messages that they should not. Based on a random selection of Lane County residents, when they were first abused (most before 6 Years old), 47% said no one ever helped them; 19% said they rarely received help.   


Reports to child welfare have increased in Oregon

  • In 2000, 41,000 calls of suspected abuse and neglect were made to child protective services. In 2017, reports increased to 80,683.

  • In 2017, of the 80,683 reports, 45.9% were categorized as neglect; 39.1% as “threat of harm,” 7.9% physical abuse, and 5.9% sexual abuse.

What are the rates of child abuse and neglect in Lane County?

  • 37.7% of women and 31.1% of men in our community experienced child abuse and neglect – 100,000 adults living in Lane County today.

  • Child abuse and neglect happens among people of all incomes and is higher among people living with the stress of financial pressure: For people in Lane County with incomes higher than $75,000, the child abuse rate is 23.0%. For people with incomes less than $25,000, the rate is 51.0%

  • Child abuse starts early. Of all the victims confirmed by child welfare in 2017, nearly 46 percent were under the age of six.

There are many solutions to choose from. What we do know is that child abuse and neglect are much lower when:

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Parents are strong in the face of stress. Parental resilience is all about bouncing back from tough situations and taking care of yourself when you need it. It’s managing stress and functioning well when faced with challenges, adversity and trauma.

What can you do to support parental resilience?

  • Support parents as decision-makers and help build decision-making and leadership skills

  • Help parents understand how to buffer their child during stressful times

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Friends and family are supportive. Social connections make any parent feel less alone and give us a network to rely on. Strong relationships help parents feel confident, empowered, and able to reach out for help. These positive connections provide emotional, informational, instrumental and spiritual support.

What does a socially connected parent look like?

  • They feel respected and appreciated

  • They accept help from others, and give help to others

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Parents have information on parenting skills and child development.
Knowledge of parenting and child development helps you know what to expect as your child grows, gives you strategies to solve parenting problems, and helps you respond to your child in a positive way. Understanding these things supports your child’s physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development.

What can you do to encourage knowledge of parenting and child development?

  • Model developmentally appropriate interactions with children

  • Provide information and resources on parenting and child development

  • Encourage parents to observe, ask questions, explore parenting issues and try out new strategies

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Essential needs are met.
Concrete supports like housing, food, and medical care are the things that every parent and child needs to be successful. Knowing where to turn when these resources are scarce can help families through hard times. When a family’s needs are met, parents are better able to minimize stress caused by challenges.

What can you do to to ensure concrete supports are in place?

  • Respond immediately when families are in crisis

  • Provide information and connections to services in the community

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Children know how to manage their emotions and social interactions. When parents know how to help their kids grow in social and emotional competence, kids are happier and healthier, and parents can respond positively and warmly to situations. Children develop the ability to communicate clearly, recognize and regulate their emotions and establish and maintain relationships.

What can you do to foster social and emotional competence?

  • Help children develop a positive cultural identity and interact in a diverse society

  • Respond proactively when social or emotional development needs extra support

  • Model nurturing care to children

The five protective factors were developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families Framework. Language adapted from CO4Kids.

You can be part of the solution - there is a role for everyone.

Personal action makes a difference – every person, neighborhood, group, organization, business, and entity has a role to play in reducing child abuse and neglect.


To learn more in depth about child abuse and neglect in Lane County, including additional research about prevention, please visit the
90by30 website.