In the United States, April has been acknowledged as Child Abuse Prevention Month since 1983. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented challenges for families, children, and providers. With new stressors, disrupted schedules, and increased time spent at home, some families have unfortunately experienced increased amounts of abuse, fear, and stress. This emphasizes the crucial need to raise child abuse awareness, strengthen families, and educate children about their right to a safe environment.
“It has been said that a Nation is judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us. Nowhere is that truer than when it comes to protecting our children, making sure they grow up safe from harm and surrounded by love. That is on all of us. For more information on how to recognize and report child abuse or neglect, as well as on how to support loving families and safe communities, visit childwelfare.gov.”
-President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
5 Ways to Raise Awareness During Child Abuse Prevention Month
1. Show your support on social media. Everyone can play a role in supporting families in order to prevent child abuse and neglect. Help raise child abuse awareness in your community by posting about Child Abuse Prevention Month on social media and by sharing relevant resources and articles.
2. Learn about protective factors and how they help with child abuse prevention. The protective factors approach focuses on positive ways to engage families by emphasizing their strengths, in addition to identifying areas where they have room to grow with support. Focusing on protective factors helps children, youth, and families build resilience and contributes to positive outcomes. The Child Welfare Prevention Resource Guide is packed with information and recognizes that there are actions we can take as a society and within communities, organizations, and families to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect. The child abuse prevention guide seeks to highlight the innovative ways that communities around the country are doing purposeful prevention work to help children and families thrive. It can also serve as a great inspiration for new programs in your community!
3. Start a Fundraising Campaign. It’s quick and easy to create your own fundraising page! By becoming a fundraiser you can raise funds online, get others involved, and donate them to an agency in your community. Pledge your birthday donations, challenge your friends or coworkers to compete with you, or encourage donations to celebrate a parent or guardian that had an impact on you.
4. Volunteer. Time is the best gift you can give, and there are social service agencies in your community that need your help! Volunteers provide the critical support needed for many agencies to successfully meet the needs of child abuse victims and their families yearound, not just during child abuse awareness month. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to gain more child abuse awareness, meet others, and make a difference in a young child’s life. For information about volunteer opportunities, call 1.800.CHILDREN or contact your local Prevent Child Abuse America chapter.
5. Plant a Pinwheel. Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign used as a reminder that all children deserve an uplifting and happy childhood. Blue and silver pinwheels are popping up across the United States this year to educate communities on child abuse awareness and preventing neglect. You can order pinwheels online or find instructions on how to make your own at home here.
When our communities come together and find ways to support each other we can create change that helps break the cycle of child abuse!
If you know or suspect a child is being abused, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline or text 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453). Professional crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.
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