Around the country, the month of April is observed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since the first presidential proclamation declaring April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month in 1983, individuals and organizations around the country dedicated to child abuse intervention and prevention have come together to raise awareness of these important issues.
As delighted as I am that this issue received well-deserved attention this time of year, what is truly needed in this country is not so much a special emphasis during one month of the year, but rather a deep commitment to the protection of children and their childhood every single day. Which is why during this month dedicated to prevention, we must raise our voices loud and increase awareness of how each of us can take action.
Along with the over 750 other Children’s Advocacy Centers around the country, Kershaw Counseling is honoring the month of April and focusing on prevention efforts by publishing a Her Red Shoes Picture daily in Pantagraph.online
While opportunities to help might be highlighted during the month of April, you might ask yourself, “How can I help every other day of the year?” First, if you have an abuse history yourself, and many adults do, seek help and speak out. Many survivors carry their heavy burden alone and face life-long health consequences as a result. If you are suffering from the trauma of abuse, there is effective help available. To find a counselor near you, Contact David Kellin at 803-246-2123 or PCASA at 803-286-5232
Second, whether you are a survivor or one blessed with a life free of abuse, you can learn the signs of abuse and how to report suspected abuse at Kershaw Counseling at 802-246-2123 or Palmetto Citizens Against Sexual Assault at 803-286-5232. Every adult has the responsibility of making the community safer for children. Send the message to the children in your life that you care about their safety and can be counted on to take action if they are unsafe. To take a pledge to support abused children and share that commitment with others, visit www.HelpVictimsBecomeSurvivors.org, a national prevention initiative designed to inspire victims to find the courage to disclose their abuse and adults to find the courage to take action to report it.
And third, support organizations like Kershaw Counseling and PCASA that work tirelessly everyday on the intervention and prevention of child abuse in local communities. As a Children’s Advocacy Center, Kershaw Counseling and PCASA utilizes best practices shared by our industry to ensure the most effective approach to responding to allegations of abuse, while always putting the child victim first. Our intervention efforts are critical in minimalizing the ongoing trauma child victims face following abuse – and we are working everyday to increase our reach so more children in need can be served.
This April, as we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month, let’s commit to protecting children from abuse not only today, but every single day of the year. If we all learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it, report it when we suspect it, seek help for those who have been victimized by it, and support public policy efforts that help those traumatized to rebuild their lives, then perhaps April will one day be the month in which we celebrate the end of child abuse. Let’s work together for that day.
More information about how to Stand Up, Step Forward and support child victims of abuse can be found online at www.HelpVictimsBecomeSurvivors.org. Please visit this site to learn the big and small ways each of us can join the fight.
Categories: Editor Thoughts