April is national child abuse prevention month
by Laura Stone | April 26, 2018 10:15 am
Last Updated: April 26, 2018 at 9:12 am
To many, children represent the future of our communities, states, countries and the world. Their potential and promise spur parents and teachers alike to educate and encourage them, applauding their successes. However, there’s a darker side to some homes. In these places, children struggle to feed and take care of themselves, at times struggling with being ignored and neglected and at other times, fearing for their safety and well-being.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. According to www.childwelfare.gov, this observance “recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and promotes the social and emotional well-being of children and families.”
In 1974, President Nixon signed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the first Federal child protection legislation, which provided Federal assistance to states for prevention, identification and treatment programs. 1978 saw the publication of the first report of the Federal Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. This stressed the need to push for prevention efforts to be as prominent as identifying and mitigating abusive situations.
In 1982, Congress declared June 6-12 should be National Child Abuse Prevention Week, and in 1983, President Reagan proclaimed April to be National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This tradition continues today, raising awareness, engaging communities and offering help to struggling families.
Today’s focus is centered on not only preventing abuse and neglect but also on overall family well-being, which fosters a home environment conducive to love and support. Outreach programs can be found in many communities, and involved churches, shelters and counseling services have become easier and easier to find for those seeking help.
Has the nightmare of abuse ended for all children? Sadly, no. Yet with increased community awareness and heightened teacher education on the signs and symptoms of possible abuse, more and more families are receiving the assistance they need to prevent further abuse and neglect.
For more information about National Child Abuse Prevention Month or to research resources available, please visit www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/