Spring is the season for renewal and this month reawakens awareness of the issues facing youth today. As such, April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Families and organizations across the country come together to raise awareness for child abuse and neglect through planned activities and programming—from providing local services to organizing fundraising campaigns.
This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), the only federal legislation exclusively dedicated to the prevention, assessment, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect. This seminal act became the genesis of National Child Abuse Prevention Week, which began in June 6, 1982. The following year President Ronald Reagan designated April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a tradition that continues today and has helped thousands of children both in and out of the foster care program.
Yet despite the government’s efforts to curb cases of abuse, currently approximately 6.6 million children are referred to protecting agencies annually for issues of abuse. Sadly, an average of five children lose their lives to physical abuse daily. Sexual abuse has also become increasingly prevalent among minors, with more than 30 percent of them suffering at the hands of family members. The harsh reality is that within the time it takes the average person to read this blog post, an average of 35 children were reported as abused (about one every 10 seconds).
To find out how you can get involved in preventing child abuse in your community or to learn more about donating to Voices For Children, visit BeAVoice.org.