The Child Abuse Epidemic
Childhood means more than the years between birth and adulthood. It means attending school alongside classmates, splashing in pools during the summers, and playing soccer knowing that your family sits in the stands. Childhood is a time for children to blossom at the hands of unconditional love and endless encouragement.
Unfortunately, not all children live free from fear and safe from violence. In 2015, nearly 700,000 children experienced some form of maltreatment in the United States. For these children, abuse and neglect replace love and encouragement.
In 1983, Ronald Reagan declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, a month designed to increase attention to the protection of children and to intensify efforts to prevent maltreatment. Although April serves to raise awareness of child abuse and some of its preventative measures, abuse doesn’t stop at the end of April, continuing to occur every month, every day, every hour.
While some resilient survivors share their personal stories of abuse in hopes of raising awareness, national abuse child estimates are known for being under-reported.
You may think child abuse doesn’t happen where you live. How could something this horrific take place within your state, your city, your own neighborhood? However, child abuse victims live in every state.
By learning to recognize the signs of child abuse, raising awareness, and increasing advocacy, we can put an end to child abuse. Many organizations, such as The Blue Ribbon Project, Invisible Children, and Childhelp, provide programs to end the cycle of child abuse among families and communities.
Let’s raise awareness and help stop child abuse.