Talking about child abuse is tough, but the month of April gives us an outlet to start the conversation. In 1983, President Reagan proclaimed April to be named National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since then, April has marked the month in which the government, communities, and individuals take time out of their busy schedules to promote the cause and carry out initiatives for child abuse prevention.
It’s important to understand that child abuse comes in many forms. Physical, sexual, emotional, and overall neglect of a child are just a few of the most prevalently reported cases that increase in scale year over year. On average, between 4 and 7 children in the United States die daily as a result of child abuse and child neglect. This amounts to more than 2,008 children dead, yearly, because of child abuse.
What’s even more concerning is that states have announced that many child abuse cases are not reported, so this unsettling torment could be happening right in front of our eyes. It is important to keep aware of situations that feel uncomfortable and report any suspicious activities to your state’s child protective services.
Not all child abuse cases can be proactively caught, but background checks can play a role in stopping child abuse before it starts. By pre-screening potential employees and volunteers, we can deny those who carry a tarnished record the privilege of overseeing our children. There are multiple reports on cases of teachers bullying their students, youth sport teams abused by coaches, and day-care workers neglecting the children in their care—and many of these offenders had criminal records at the time of the incidents.
These situations are just a simple reminder that child abuse never sleeps. Talking about it should not solely be reserved for one specific time period; however, if we can use April as a month to begin the important dialogue, we may be able to begin the chapter that ceases this worldwide epidemic.
To help you get the child abuse prevention conversation started among your business or organization, Protect People is offering a free membership for the month of April (a $29.95 value) with promo code: NOABUSE.