We don't like to think about it, but our kids who are deaf or hard of hearing are at a higher risk for both abuse and neglect. Like any children, they are at risk. As children who might not always be able to communicate easily and fluently, or understand the nuances of conversation with neighbors, caregivers, or strangers, they are at an even higher risk of being victims of someone, somewhere.
There is more you can do as parents. Start with reading the Parent Safety Toolkit. Below are resources that will be useful to parents in developing skills that will prepare us to share effectively with their own children. But don’t just stop at your own child or student, here are some things that you can do to help others be prepared:
Share the articles on our Hands & Voices website and its related resources, with at least one other parent, and then ask them to “pass-it-on.”
Share the Story
Have a conversation with your child about abuse and neglect (see attached “Helping Parents Talk to Children” below) then share the story of how it went so that other parents can learn from your experience.
Recognize the Best and Challenge Everyone Else
Ask the professionals who work with your child what they are doing to protect your child from abuse and neglect, then share the resulting reactions, information, resources, programs, and questions so that we recognize the best and challenge everyone else.