Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can Men Prevent Child Abuse?

April is child abuse prevention month, which prompts this question: how often do we think of men as central figures in promoting kids’ safety?

This morning, I was reading the Minnesota Fathers and Families network blog (http://www.mnfathers.org/blog/?p=13), which had some answers to the question:

We hope that all men from all walks of life will take steps to become lifelong advocates for children’s safety.The safety of children has always been a principal role of fathering. For generations and across cultures, men have stepped up to be the protector of the family — providing safeguards against the forces that would cause harm. Most fathers take pride in ensuring safety against poverty, against disease, against hunger, and against violence.

During the month of April, we honor these men for building safe havens in their homes and in their communities.

However, all too often, our culture, media, and family structures, also create environments that enable men to be the cause of harm. When violence is glorified or quietly accepted, we all share in the esponsibility for causing pain. It is for this reason that MFFN is spreading the message that healthy men are central elements for creating safety for our kids.

Throughout this Child Abuse Prevention Month, we encourage fathers and father-figures to advocate for child safety. We challenge you to speak up against words of violence and to step in when children are in danger. Healthy fatherhood demands no less.

For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota at www.pcamn.org.

So, here’s another question: what are you doing to expect and ensure that dads, stepdads and other men are central figures in promoting kids’ safety?