April brings lots of things every year. Showers. Tax time. The start of spring. It also brings a heightened level of awareness to our cause, and each year during Child Abuse Prevention Month our organization joins in with others across the country to recognize the importance of our children, the future they represent, and the things that we can do every day to make sure they have the great childhood they deserve today in order to grow into the business leaders, policymakers, and productive citizens of tomorrow.
Awareness is important. But we know that we need to do more than remind people about our issue. Getting people around the country to stop and think about child abuse and neglect, even if just for a few minutes, is a big deal. Yet we know that we need more than awareness at this point. We need action.
Turning Awareness into Action this April
If you’ve never taken action before on the issue of child abuse and neglect, there is no better time to start than today. Here are a few ideas on the kind of things that you can do that not only make a difference in your community, but across the entire nation.
- Hold a block party in your neighborhood or organize a similar activity to help build strong connections between the people you live near and turn strangers into neighbors. Strong communities help reduce feelings of stress and isolation, especially among families that are new to the area or new to being parents, and give people someone they can turn to when they are overwhelmed or in a crisis and need help. Here are some other ideas for similar actions you can take to make a difference.
- Call your local legislator and advocate for policies like the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) or the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. These two policies are critical to provide funding and support for the programs and services that are proven to reduce child abuse and neglect. We’ve made it easy to find contact information for the legislators for your area.
- Talk with local business leaders you know, an HR professional you are friendly with, or consider taking steps at your own company to institute policies that are family friendly, help prevent child abuse and neglect, and can actually improve a business’ bottom line. We‘ve created an infographic to help you get the conversation started about why creating policies that help prevent child abuse and neglect is a good business decision.
- Connect with the Prevent Child Abuse America chapter in your state to find out what volunteer activities exist and get information specific to where you live about how you can make a difference for the children and families closest to you. Our Chapter Map has all of the information you need to get connected.
- Learn about Why Prevention Matters. You know in your heart that preventing abuse and neglect before it starts is important, and the arguments made by researchers like Dr. Phaedra Corso or Dr. Robert Anda can help give you the stats and facts to back up what you already know and help you convince your friends and family of the importance of prevention.
At the end of April, our organization, our chapters and our Healthy Families America sites will still be doing the work that we do everyday to ensure that all children get the great childhood that all children deserve. We hope that you will still be working alongside us. Our children represent the future of our country, of our communities, and of ourselves, and if we all do something this month to improve the healthy development of children and prevent abuse and neglect, we will have succeeded in the carrying out the call of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
What are you going to do during April to make a difference? Tweet us @PCAAmerica to let us know, or leave a comment on our Facebook page telling us about your plans. Let the world know that you care about preventing abuse and neglect and are working to make great childhoods for all children a reality!