4/9/2014 9:13:00 AM Editorial Help stop child abuse - today!
There are many national commemorative months during the calendar year. There's National Pet Month. National Honey Month. National Book Month. And we're particularly fond of National Ice Cream Month. That's in July.
April's Child Abuse Prevention Month carries a message impossible to ignore. In no way are the 11 other months free from the mission to eradicate child abuse, but if you're uniformed of the destructive realities of child abuse or if you need to learn how to get started on how to help, the month of April is a critical reminder.
According to Safe Horizon, the nation's leading victim assistance organization, 1 in 10 children suffer from child maltreatment. 1 in 16 suffer from sexual abuse. Nearly 1 in 10 are witnesses to family violence.
The youngest children are the most vulnerable to maltreatment. More than 25 percent of abused children are under the age of 3, while more than 45 percent are under the age of 5.
Childrensrights.org further reveals that reporting cases to agencies tragically isn't always enough. Some children who died from abuse and neglect were already known to Child Protective Services agencies. In 30 reporting states, the children whose families had received family preservation services in the past five years accounted for 8.5 percent of child fatalities.
Together, we've attacked this repugnant reality in our communities head on. The first federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, was signed by President Nixon 40 years ago this year for prevention, identification, and treatment programs. President Reagan proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1982, helping to give this epidemic the aggressive awareness it has today.
Today, April 9, is Arizona Gives Day. It's a challenge for all of us to donate money to Prevent Child Abuse Arizona resources. Don't wait for a legislative debate at the governmental level. This is people helping people. That means us. Call 445-5038 to help.
On April 12, Captain CrossFit in Prescott will host a competitive workout featuring three-person teams accepting pledges for team competitions. All proceeds benefit the Yavapai Family Advocacy Center, a project of Prevent Child Abuse Arizona. Call 778-9789 to help.
Prescott Child Abuse Arizona also will be at this month's Whiskey Off-Road event, April 25-27, on the downtown plaza. Stop by their booth to see how you can help the cause, and quite possibly to get your face painted.
This month, in many ways, is as much about you. Your help is needed.