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Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Education, Health, Mental Health, Military, Society | 0 comments

April is ‘National Child Abuse Prevention Month.’

April chid abuse month

‘It shouldn’t hurt to be a child’ image, courtesy U.S. Air Force

Each month of the year has been, nationally or by organizations, declared the “Month of xxxx” to commemorate certain important events or to promote, create awareness or draw attention to certain causes or special interests. says, “April is one of the few months that does not contain a long list of ridiculous observations,” and mentions, “July is Lasagna Awareness Month” apparently as one of those “ridiculous observations.” (Sorry lasagna lovers)

Some of the events observed in April as “National Month” are:

• African American Women’s Fitness Month
• Alcohol Awareness Month
• Amateur Radio Month
• American Cancer Society Month
• Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
• Celebrate Diversity Month
• Community Service Month
• Fresh Florida Tomato Month
• Jewish-American Heritage Month
• National Autism Awareness Month
• National Better Hearing and Speech Month
• National Food Month
• National Garden Month
• National Mental Health Month
• National Multiple Birth Awareness Month
• National Occupational Therapy Month
• National Older Americans Month
• National Parkinson’s Awareness Month
• National Pecan Month
• National Soft Pretzel Month
• National Soy Foods Month
• National STDs Education and Awareness Month
• Pets are Wonderful Month
• Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
• Stress Awareness Month
• Thai Heritage Month
• Women’s Health Care Month

I don’t know about “National Soft Pretzel Month,” but most of the causes listed above are very worthwhile.

Surprisingly absent, however, are “Month of the Military Child” and “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.”

Here is some background on “National Child Abuse Prevention Month”

Increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children led to the passage of the first Federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), in 1974…

In the early 1980s, Congress made a further commitment to identifying and implementing solutions to end child abuse. Recognizing the alarming rate at which children continued to be abused and neglected and the need for innovative programs to prevent child abuse and assist parents and families affected by maltreatment, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives resolved that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week…

The following year, in 1983, April was proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As a result, child abuse and neglect awareness activities are promoted across the country during April of each year…

In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse began as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country; many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse…

In 2003, as part of the 20th anniversary of the original Presidential Proclamation designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, OCAN launched the National Child Abuse Prevention Initiative as a year-long effort…

Visit the National Child Abuse Prevention Month website for more information on the most current resources and national efforts.

The military also highlights April as “National Child Abuse Awareness Month,” a time dedicated to child abuse awareness and prevention activities. Read more here.

While it is nice to designate certain months as the time to be aware of this or that, or to celebrate certain causes or events, it is really a shame that we have to designate a month to make people aware of child abuse or, worse, to “prevent child abuse.”

Preventing child abuse should be a yearlong cause, a life-long mission — nothing less