In 1983 April became National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month is now used to help bring awareness to the issues of child abuse in our nation.
According to the Children’s Bureau, in 2020, roughly 2 million children received prevention services, and approximately 1.2 million children received post-response services (CMD, n.d.). Unfortunately, this data only includes state and local Child Protective Service Agencies. We can assume that these numbers could be much higher if we also had data from community-based agencies.
When exposed to child abuse, victims can be left with lifelong trauma. In recent years there have been studies done on the mental and physical impact abuse can cause. For example, it has been shown that people who score high on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) test are more likely to have future health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer later in their life (HAAH, n.d.).
In conclusion, providing parents and caretakers with a better understanding of the severe side effects of childhood adversity could be one way to lower our nation’s statistics. We must strive to spread awareness and help to prevent the abuse of children, for they are our future.
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By: Gillian McCain, EKU BSW Student
Child maltreatment data. National Child Abuse Prevention Month – Child Welfare Information Gateway. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/about/child-maltreatment-data/
How aces affect health. Center for Youth Wellness. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from https://centerforyouthwellness.org/health-impacts/ (website currently not active)