April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983.
1974 – Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)
The first Federal child protection legislation, CAPTA was signed by President Nixon on January 31, 1974 and marked the beginning of a new national response to the problem of child abuse and neglect. The legislation provided Federal assistance to States for prevention, identification, and treatment programs. It also created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (now known as the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect) within the Children’s Bureau to serve as a Federal focal point for CAPTA activities.
1982 – First National Child Abuse Prevention Week
In 1982, Congress resolved that June 6-12 should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week.
1983 – April proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month
In 1982, Congress resolved that June 6–12 should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week; the following year, President Reagan proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a tradition that continues to this day. The Bureau’s National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect coordinated activities at the Federal level, including creation and dissemination of information and promotional materials. In 1984 for example, posters, bumper stickers, and buttons displayed the theme, “Kids—You can’t beat ’em.” Print, radio, and television PSAs, meanwhile, urged viewers to “Take time out. Don’t take it out on your kid.”
1984 – Child Abuse Prevention Federal Challenge Grants Act
The Children’s Bureau was an early supporter of State Children’s Trust Funds. Kansas was the first State to pass such legislation in the spring of, requiring revenues from surcharges placed on marriage licenses to be used to support child abuse prevention. By 1984, the number of States with Trust Funds was up to 15. That year, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention Federal Challenge Grants Act (title IV of P.L. 98–473) to encourage more States to follow suit. By 1989, all but three States had passed Children’s Trust Fund legislation.
Facts about Child Maltreatment
Child Maltreatment is a significant public health problem in the United States.
- According to Child Protective Service agencies, more than 686,000 children were victims of maltreatment in 2012.
- Another 1,640 children died in the United States in 2012 from abuse and neglect.
- The financial costs for victims and society are substantial. A recent CDC study showed that the total lifetime estimated financial cost associated with just 1 year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment is $124 billion.
Abused children often suffer physical injuries including cuts, bruises, burns, and broken bones. Physical injury is far from the only negative impact of maltreatment—it can also affect broader health outcomes, mental health, social development, and risk-taking behavior into adolescence and adulthood.
Child maltreatment includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent or caregiver that results in harm or potential harm. There are four common types of abuse:
- Physical Abuse is the use of physical force, such as hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other shows of force against a child.
- Sexual Abuse involves engaging a child in sexual acts. It includes behaviors such as fondling, penetration, and exposing a child to other sexual activities.
- Emotional Abuse refers to behaviors that harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name calling, shaming, rejection, withholding love, and threatening.
- Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. These needs include housing, food, clothing, education, and access to medical care.
Child maltreatment causes stress that can disrupt early brain development, and serious chronic stress can harm the development of the nervous and immune systems. As a result, children who are abused or neglected are at higher risk for health problems as adults. These problems include alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, obesity, high-risk sexual behaviors, smoking, suicide, and certain chronic diseases.
Child Maltreatment is Preventable
CDC works to stop child maltreatment, including abuse and neglect, before it initially occurs. In doing this, CDC promotes the development of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments between children and their parents or caregivers.
Children’s experiences are defined through their environments (such as homes, schools, and neighborhoods) and relationships with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Healthy relationships act as a buffer against adverse childhood experiences. They are necessary to ensure the long-term physical and emotional well-being of children.
We would like to take this time to say Thank You to some very special people and agency’s:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Homeland Security
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Child Welfare Information Gateway
The many hours we have used these websites, day and night, each with a seemingly unending supply of resources and educational material.
Without this valuable information, we would have been unable to put forth a quality product for Our Children.