April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

In these tough economic times, the financial stress that is put on so many families increases, and in turn puts many children at a raised chance of being abused or neglected, national and state agencies report. The month of April is an chance to gain awareness over national and local efforts taking place to prevent child abuse and how we all have a part to play in helping support families so they feel safe asking for help before a child is abused. Many parents in our country are doing a spectacular job raising and supporting children; however there are families, particularly nowadays with economic imbalance, that are feeling stressors. These families need help to keep children from becoming vulnerable to abuse. Annually, there are 5 million reports of abuse and neglect nationally,” stated Bill McGuire, director of Child Abuse Prevention Services. “One in five children will experience some form of abuse or neglect, and half of them will be younger than 6 years old” Acknowledging the staggering rate at which children continued to be abused and neglected and the demand for programs to prevent child abuse and help parents and families affected by maltreatment, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives decided that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be assigned as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week, and the following year, April was declared the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

2009 is also the 50th anniversary of the child abuse advocacy group, Childhelp,  click to visit Childhelp.org and learn how you can help., or if you need report a case of child abuse you may call the national child abuse hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

For even more on helping to fight child abuse, click here.

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