President Reagan first declared April “National Child Abuse Prevention Month” in 1983. What began as National Child Abuse Prevention Week in June just a year earlier, developed into an entire month dedicated to bringing attention to and advocating for a solution to child abuse in the US. But, that’s not where the movement for child abuse awareness and prevention began.
In 1974, President Nixon signed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The signing of this act formally acknowledged the issue of child abuse and neglect on a national level and called for citizens of the US to open their eyes to occurrences of abuse that might be right in front of them. As a result, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (currently recognized as the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect) was formed to act as the federal center for the CAPTA cause, and states were granted federal assistance to help identify instances of child abuse and provide opportunities and programs for treatment and change. This was only the beginning of many conferences and subsequent acts that led to the raised awareness and care that we give to this cause presently.
Today, we dedicate the month of April to child abuse prevention to raise awareness, but also to encourage others to report abuse and neglect if they suspect or witness it. If you suspect a child is being abused, speak up. Information on how to report suspected abuse or neglect can be found on the DFPS website. A wealth of support and information is available to families and communities to help put a stop to the abuse.
Here at Upbring, it’s our mission to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. We each play a crucial role in ensuring that all children feel loved, cherished and cared for, and are free from abuse and neglect. This April, we encourage you to educate yourselves on the realities of child abuse and use your voice to advocate for those who can’t. Together, we’re creating a brighter future for the thousands of Texas children who experience abuse and neglect each year.