April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the Unites States, it is an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse.
In 1983, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared that in April each year, we would recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States. A time for communities to come together and shed light on child abuse prevention and the importance of communities working together to help families thrive and prevent child maltreatment.
Child abuse and child maltreatment is defined as "all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power." (World Health Organization). In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses the term child maltreatment to refer to both acts of commission (abuse), which include "words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child", and acts of omission (neglect), meaning "the failure to provide for a child's basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm".
One report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that on average nearly 650,000 children are victims of child abuse or neglect and about 1,500 children die from abuse or neglect in the United States each year. The majority of child abuse cases result from conditions that can be prevented through community programs, systems, support and interventions. This is why the overall goal for Child Abuse Prevention Month is to raise awareness and spark inspiration so that communities will continue to educate themselves on child abuse prevention, increase awareness about child and family well-being and work together to implement effective strategies that support families and prevent child abuse and neglect, throughout the entire year.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and support help protect children and produce thriving families. To get more involved in our mission and to help us raise awareness to issues like child abuse prevention, please consider donating now.