Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Every day in the United States, four children die as a result of child abuse. Staggering statistic, right? The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Originally taking place from June 6-12, 1982 as National Child Abuse Awareness Week, the week aimed to observe the growing epidemic of child abuse with programs, ceremonies and activities. The following year, in 1983, President Ronald Regan named April as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Child abuse consists of neglect and physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Experts define child abuse as causing or permitting any harmful or offensive contact on a child's body and any communication which humiliates, shames, or frightens the child. Created in 1974, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act aimed to promote an understanding, appreciation and knowledge of diverse populations in order to be effective in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. The act states that “child abuse is the leading cause of death in children under the age of eighteen.”
According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, more than 1.25 million or one in every 58 children in the United States is affected by child abuse. Forty-six percent of those children are white while 21 percent are African-American.
For more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth. And if you suspect a child is being abused, contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.