National Child Abuse Prevention Month was officially created in 1983. In every year since, the nation comes together to recognize and bring awareness of the child abuse and neglect epidemic in the United States. This month is a reminder of the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families.
Child abuse and neglect continue to be consequential problems and adverse childhood experiences that have negative long-term impacts on health, opportunity, and well-being. (CDC, 2008) According to the Children’s Bureau, within the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, over 7.9 million allegations of child experiencing maltreatment were reported in 2019. About 656,000 children were confirmed to have been victims of abuse and neglect. About 1,840 children died from abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.5 per 100,000 within 2019 alone. Across 47 states, approximately 1.9 million children received prevention services and 1.3 needed post-response services. (Children’s Bureau, 2019)
In times of crisis and economic insecurity, rates of child abuse and neglect increase. COVID-19 has added stressors to the lives of many parents and caregivers. The Prevent Child Abuse Missouri Chapter witnessed a decline in child abuse and neglect reports since children were more isolated. Understanding the pandemic’s unforeseen effects on incidences of child abuse and neglect. However, we know that positive childhood experiences that are surrounded in nurturing environments promote good physical and mental health, and development of necessary learning and social and emotional skills. We can build healthier, safer, communities that thrive if we work together to support families. So, join us this April to support healthy and nurturing childhoods and families.