As we enter the last days of April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, we’ve seen some great events and great support surrounding Family & Children’s Place and other efforts to protect children from violence, abuse and neglect.
We’ve seen lawmakers increase protections, from mandating that educators in Kentucky be trained to recognize and report child abuse to affording dating couple the same protections as married couples from domestic violence. These are important and needed improvements.
We’ve seen a Rally on the River, where Family & Children’s Place, the Kosair Charities’ Face It Movement, Kentucky Youth Advocates and others came together to stress the continued need for vigilance to protect children. We’ve seen blue and silver pinwheel gardens sprout up around child service agencies, but also around police and fire stations, hospitals, medians and parks.
We’ve seen community breakfasts, walks and runs, and viewpoints published in local newspapers and broadcast on radio and television. Social media has blown up with posts sharing photos, parenting and coping tips, statistics, thank you messages and personal testimony from victims about help they received that moved them from hurting to healing.
People have been generous, in giving and support. Now May beckons and the headlines will switch from Child Abuse Prevention to Mental Health Month, National Foster Care Month, Military Appreciation Month, National Osteoporosis Month, Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month or another topic. Added to the mix are Mother’s Day and a host of other one-day events.
All worthy and notable, but as the focus moves away from abused children, never forget that child violence, abuse and neglect don’t take a vacation. There is no “season” for abuse and neglect. Children are injured – and die from preventable abuse and neglect – every day.
Someone reports an incidence of child abuse every 10 seconds in the United States, and every day between four and seven children die. So we can’t afford to lose the momentum of April.
By all means support causes that move and matter to you, but don’t forget child victims of abuse. All children deserve great childhoods, free from violence, abuse and neglect.
Be the force that keeps the pinwheels spinning.