Child abuse has become a growing concern over the years, which is why April was declared as Child Abuse Prevention Month by the presidential proclamation in 1983. This month is the time to acknowledge and recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse.
Based on statistics, an estimated 683,000 children became victims of child abuse or neglect in the year 2015, out of which 1,670 were reported dead as a result of neglect or abuse. Many of these deaths could have been avoided or prevented if proper support systems and community programs had been in place. This is why it is important to recognize the importance of early childhood development, parental support and maternal mental health in order to foster nurturing families and healthy children in the society.
To honor April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, people across the country come together to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention. Organizations working to prevent child abuse in different states hold awareness events and programs, services, public awareness messages, education, public policy development and partner collaboration. These organizations also make sure that every parent in the community has access to quality childcare affordable health services, parenting education, as well as substance abuse and mental health programs.
You can also participate in raising awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention in your community. People around the nation mobilize Pinwheels for Prevention campaigns, promise to prevent abuse, and host educational events. Pinwheels represent a happy and carefree childhood. They also represent the belief that getting it right for the kids is important from the start instead of trying to fix problems later on when things are out of control. Schools, communities, volunteers, families and individuals can get involved by:
- Wearing pinwheel lapel pins
- Displaying pinwheels on cars and storefront window clings
- Playing host to awareness events in their local community
- Signing a promise to help prevent child abuse and neglect
- Planting pinwheels in their homes, gardens or other public places
For more information on Child Abuse Prevention in Utah, get in touch with Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) at https://pcautah.org or visit their offices in Salt Lake City, and Ogden, UT. PCAU is the largest and only nonprofit organization which fully uses its funding and energy towards the prevention of child abuse and neglect.