April is Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month, a time to act collectively to raise awareness and empower people across the nation to play a role in making great childhoods happen.
And our efforts to raise awareness and engagement and impact positive change this year are as vital as ever.
Throughout this crucial CAP Month, we’re reinforcing the message that “Everyone can make great childhoods happen—especially you, especially now!”
You don’t have to be a movie star or a professional athlete…all you need is a desire to make a difference.
For example, a gallerist in Brooklyn, New York, is hosting a virtual art exhibition and has commissioned a limited edition artwork to raise awareness and funds for child abuse prevention.
She is just one of the many people across the country who are taking small but significant steps to ensure the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments that enable children, families, and entire communities to thrive…and you can too!
Equally important is recognizing that the time to act is now.
The outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has changed our world dramatically—and rapidly.
Although the risk to our children’s physical health from the outbreak itself appears to be low…
…the risk to our nation’s children for experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty is actually quite high.
School and workplace closings can increase stress in parents’ lives, resulting from loss of income due to lack of paid leave; an unexpected or irregular need for child care; and even food insecurity, when school meal programs become unavailable.
Additionally, an unintended consequence of social distancing is isolation, which contradicts science proving that social and emotional connectedness and support are protective of mental health and positive discipline strategies.
At PCA America, in close partnership with our nationwide chapter network, we work every day to ensure healthy, thriving children and families.
One way we do this is by supporting the expansion of evidence-based home visiting programs, such as Healthy Families America, so we can help families cope with stress and trauma.
Another way is to support expanding family-friendly policies, like paid sick and family leave, to help reduce stress on our parents and caregivers.
You can help us advance these programs and policies by participating in our nationwide digital advocacy day, on Tuesday, April 28…
…when we’ll be empowering people across the country to contact their members of Congress to take action on the Child Abuse and Treatment Act or special coronavirus-related legislation.
This is a perfect way to get involved even if you’re working or learning from home and social distancing.
Visit http://www.preventchildabuse.org/yesyou to learn more about Digital Advocacy Day, as well as a wide range of fun, engaging, and empowering virtual activities occurring throughout CAP Month.
Together, we can prevent child abuse, America…because childhood lasts a lifetime.