During the month of April, in honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, people across the country come together to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention (PCAV, 2014, n.p.). In the United States of America, “every child should have every chance in life, every chance at happiness, and every chance at success” (Obama, 2014, n.p.). Yet tragically, hundreds of thousands of young Americans “shoulder the burden of abuse or neglect” (Obama, 2014, n.p.). During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, President Obama calls the nation to “strengthen our resolve to give every young person the security, opportunity, and bright future they deserve” (Obama, 2014, n.p.).
Without question, the entire nation has a role to play in preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as in helping young victims recover. According to President Obama (2014):
From parents and guardians to educators and community leaders, each of us can help carve out safe places for young people to build their confidence and pursue their dreams. I also encourage Americans to be aware of warning signs of child abuse and neglect, including sudden changes in behavior or school performance, untreated physical or medical issues, lack of adult supervision, and constant alertness, as though preparing for something bad to happen. To learn more about how you can prevent child abuse, visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/Preventing/. (n.p.)
In Virginia, PCAV annually spearheads Child Abuse Prevention Month activities to raise awareness and encourage statewide support for the initiative. This year’s PCAV theme is “Look. Listen. Respond” (PCAV, 2014, n.p.). In partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services, PCAV implements a Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign that includes “a Proclamation from the Governor, the Child Abuse Prevention Month Packet, and an Annual Conference” (PCAV, 2014, n.p.). In addition to these campaigns, PCAV also spearheads other activities throughout the month, such as: Pinwheels for Prevention and Wear Blue Day (PCAV, 2014, n.p.).
“There are numerous ways to participate in raising awareness of child abuse and neglect prevention,” states PCAV, which hosts a calendar of events and activities for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Those interested in playing a hands-on role in the campaign should visit the following site: http://pcav.org/events/.
“Our Nation thrives when we recognize that we all have a stake in each other” (Obama, 2014, n.p.). This month and throughout the year, President Obama urges: “Let us come together -- as families, communities, and Americans -- to ensure every child can pursue their dreams in a safe and loving home” (Obama, 2014, n.p.).
Obama, B. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. (2014). Presidential proclamation: National child abuse prevention month, 2014. Retrieved from USA.gov website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/31/presidential-proclamation-national-child-abuse-prevention-month-2014.
Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, (2014). 2014 child abuse prevention month. Retrieved from website: http://pcav.org/child-abuse-prevention-month-2/.