Child Abuse Prevention
By Member Joyce Shry
April 4, 2019

April is National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. Children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( child abuse and neglect are significant public health problems in the United States:

• In 2017, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect.
• About 674,000 children were identified as victims of child abuse or neglect by child protective service agencies in 2017.
• An estimated one in four children have experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention involves children under the age of 18 and may be exposed to abuse and neglect by a parent, caregiver, or another person in a custodial role. There are four common types of child abuse and neglect: physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect.

Child abuse and neglect result from the interaction of a number of individual, family, societal, and environmental factors. Child abuse and neglect are not inevitable—safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are key for prevention. Preventing child abuse and neglect can also prevent other forms of violence, as various types of violence are interrelated and share many risk and protective factors, consequences, and effective prevention tactics. Using a public health approach, we can prevent child maltreatment before it starts.

Children who are abused and neglected may suffer immediate physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, or broken bones, as well as emotional and psychological problems, such as impaired socio-emotional skills or anxiety.

Chronic abuse may result in toxic stress and make victims more vulnerable to problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, conduct disorder, and learning, attention, and memory difficulties. Child abuse is often referred to as the secret crime.

Child abuse and neglect are serious public health issues with far-reaching consequences for the youngest and most vulnerable members of society. Every child is better when he/she and his/her peers have safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments.

We know that families don’t exist in a bubble. We also know there is tremendous power in communities to support families and to help children thrive. Show your support of this month's Blue Ribbon Campaign by wearing and distributing blue ribbons and organizing community activities.

Attachment Wear Blue Flyer 2019.pdf  (487k)