SCAN - Stop Child Abuse Now

Why SCAN? Child abuse and neglect is a national emergency. New cases are reported at the rate of one every two minutes. The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect estimates that more than three million children will be victims of abuse and neglect this year, which will be the leading cause of death for girls and boys under the age of three.

Child abuse and neglect are not problems that are only found in other parts of the county. There were 8,879 reported cases in NOVA in 1997. That's a lot. What types of abuse lead to this high number? A child is raped in Northern Virginia every three days. Three children are abandoned in our community every week.

Every month, a child here suffers a skull fracture, while another is burned. Two of our children were murdered by their abusers in 1995. Seven were murdered in 1994, four in 1993.

Most of these children were brutalized at the hands of their caretakers who were expected to love and protect them.

The social and economic impact on our community is profound. Nine out of 10 prison inmates were abused as children. Children abused today are more likely to grow up to abuse their own children. Unless stopped, the violence will continue for generations.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, established in 1988, is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to the well being of children and prevention of child abuse and neglect through education, public awareness, advocacy and direct intervention programs including:

Public Awareness and Education: SCAN educates the public through speaking engagements, distribution of parenting information, newsletters and public service announcements. SCAN helps individuals and communities learn about healthy child development and child abuse and neglect and how it can be prevented.

SCAN provides packets of primary prevention information to new mothers with a special emphasis on the dangers of shaking infants (Shaken Baby Syndrome). SCAN’s parenting guides known as "Kidwise" reach thousands of citizens throughout Northern Virginia and offer parents advice on how to deal with stressful situations such as: bedtime and the grocery store.

Parent Nurturing Program: A series of classes for families to learn how to nurture one another. Participants learn how to communicate, physical and emotional needs, establish routines for regular family activities, replace hitting and yelling with effective discipline methods, handle stress and build family cohesion. The program is tailored to work for all families: two parent, single parent, foster, adoptive and step families.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): SCAN trains volunteers to advocate in juvenile court on behalf of abused and neglected children. Our CASA volunteers help ensure a safe, permanent home for children. Many times our CASA volunteers are the only voice a child has in court. We have helped more than 700 children since the program started in 1988.