Honoring and protecting children is a year-round need, but with April being Child Abuse Prevention Month now is a great time to take action. Fortunately, there are several ways you can get involved, from wearing a blue t-shirt to renewing your reporter training requirements to advocating for new protection policies.
Here are some things you can do this month and all year to raise awareness and support organizational efforts to stop child abuse.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Preventing child abuse is of paramount importance as it has long-lasting and devastating effects on the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of children. Child abuse can result in severe physical injuries, developmental delays, mental health issues, and even death.
Approximately five children die each day due to child abuse.
The emotional scars of child abuse can persist into adulthood, impacting the individual’s ability to form healthy relationships, trust others, and lead a fulfilling life. Child abuse has a ripple effect on society, leading to increased healthcare costs, social welfare expenditures, and criminal justice involvement.
By prioritizing prevention strategies, such as education, awareness, early intervention, and support for at-risk families, we can safeguard the rights and well-being of children, create a safer and healthier society, and break the cycle of abuse for future generations.
Child Abuse Statistics
- 1 out of 3 girls will be sexually abused before reaching the age of 18
- 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before reaching the age of 18
- There are 3.6 million cases of child abuse reported each year
- Victims of child abuse are 11% more likely to become criminals
- 14% of imprisoned men and 36% of imprisoned women were victims of child abuse
- The most widespread form of abuse is neglect, which makes up 59% of all abuse cases
What Can You Do to Prevent Child Abuse?
For mandated reporters, the most critical step you can take to prevent child abuse is to understand how to identify and report suspected cases of child abuse.
Mandated reporters — persons required by law to report suspected abuse — are usually in close proximity to children due to their profession. This can include medical providers, teachers, daycare providers, and law enforcement, to name a few.
Staying up-to-date on mandated reporter training can help these professionals understand their legal responsibilities to report and what to look for when it comes to potential signs of abuse and neglect.
Even if you’re not a mandated reporter, there are several ways you can advocate for child abuse prevention. Organizations like Prevent Child Abuse America, provide ample resources and opportunities for those looking to get involved.
Here are a few of the ways you can help.
Wear Blue Clothing for Child Abuse Prevention Month
An easy way to show your support is to buy and wear a blue t-shirt in April for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Shirts by Prevent Child Abuse America can be found here and all proceeds further their mission of fostering healthier, happier homes.
Plant a Virtual Pinwheel Garden
Prevent Child Abuse America’s virtual pinwheel garden was born during the pandemic, and continues to thrive as a resource for anyone anywhere to support child abuse prevention. By getting as many people to plant a pinwheel in this growing virtual garden, Prevent Child Abuse America can continue its efforts of advocating for child safety.
Participate in Digital Advocacy Day on April 19th
While April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 19th marks the official Digital Advocacy Day. Take action on this day by wearing your blue shirt, sharing your personal story, and contacting your local member of Congress to support child abuse prevention policies.
Raise Awareness for Child Abuse Prevention
Spreading the word is one of the most powerful things you can do to help stop and prevent child abuse. Therefore, help raise awareness of this cause by sharing your efforts with friends, colleagues, family, and social media connections. You can follow Prevent Child Abuse America on Instagram and use the hashtag #preventioninpartnership for greater reach.
What To Do If You Suspect Child Abuse
If you suspect that child abuse is occurring, it’s crucial to take action immediately. The safety and well-being of the child should be the top priority.
When reporting potential child abuse, it’s essential to provide as much information as possible, including any observations, signs, or disclosures from the child, without jeopardizing the child’s safety or confidentiality.
Reporting suspicions of child abuse is a moral and legal obligation, and taking prompt action can potentially save a child from further harm and provide them with the protection and support they need.
While reporting requirements can vary from state to state, the following hotlines can help people from across the US help stop suspected child abuse and neglect.
Numbers to Call
State Child Abuse and Neglect: Click here for numbers by state Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800.4.A.CHILD (1-800-422-4453) CyberTipline for Missing Children: 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)