April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in America, but that shouldn’t stop the world from joining in and raising the profile of this devastating global phenomenon. With elections just around the corner, and our party leaders pledging their hearts out, hot on each other’s heels as they blaze a campaign trail, let’s get them to focus on child welfare.
Child Abuse Prevention Month in the US started in 1982, after the introduction of the first piece of federal child protection legislation was ushered in, in 1974 – the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act . There’s a really good timeline you can view on the US Department of Health and Human Services website.
This year will mark the country’s 20th annual conference on child protection which has been titled, “Making Meaningful Connections” and marks the 40th anniversary of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
Closer to home, we have Stop It Now, and the Lucy Faithfull Foundation which runs Stop It Now. For anyone wanting to alert authorities to child sexual abuse online, excellent sites include the Internet Watch Foundation, who will look into websites which host child sexual abuse content, and CEOP, for content that may not host images of children being abused, but host other forms of content which are abusive or potentially illegal.
Our proposal for the month of April is two-fold:
For our politicians:
- To make pledges about what they will do to prevent child abuse in the immediate future
And For the rest of us:
- To be vigilant online and proactive, reporting any content that features or encourages child sexual abuse
We can help to protect the world’s children this month, and every month. Let’s do it together.