Foreign Policy Blogs

Making Child Abuse Prevention Awareness a Daily Activity

As we concluded the month of April, we also brought to an end National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States.  However in light of the fact that each year there are more than 3 million child abuse reports (often containing the abuse of more than one child) made in the United States alone (Child Help), it seems that the idea of merely having a month dedicated to preventing child abuse isn’t nearly enough.  Additionally should we ever stop raising awareness and seeking to protect children?  Of course not, thus take this moment to now make each day one to prevent child abuse, both in the United States and across the globe.

An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse, including the worst forms of child labor in communities, schools and institutions.  An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year into exploitative conditions, including working in mining, factories or agriculture, recruited as soldiers in armed conflict or forced into commercial sex work.  Additionally those children who live in areas of extreme economic hardship and social disruption, including armed conflict, are at a greater risk for abuse and exploitation.  With an estimated 40 million children under the age of 15 suffer from violence, abuse and neglect worldwide, we cannot afford to dedicate one month a year to ending child abuse, but must make it a daily fight.

The numbers of reports regarding the mental, physical or sexual abuse of children are all under reported, leaving countless children in harm’s way.  According to the Administration for Children and Families, 12,180 children died from abuse and neglect between 2001 and 2008 in the United States alone.  However the actual number of child deaths in the U.S. is significantly higher, as many child maltreatment deaths are not recorded as such.  Additionally a number of studies have shown that there is a substantial amount of child abuse and neglect related fatalities, which are not recorded and there are little to no figures showing the number of child abuse fatalities worldwide.
For more information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month and its formation, including laws, please see the posts; April: Child Abuse Prevention Month, Protect Our Kids Act IntroducedPreventing Child Abuse: Is the United States Doing Enough?.  The Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (OCAN) within the Children’s Bureau coordinates Child Abuse Prevention Month, providing information and releasing updated national statistics about child abuse and neglect each April.  Many of these materials, such as the annual Resource Guide, have been made available.

Unfortunately countries across the globe continue to fall short, when it comes to the protection of their youngest citizens. Knowing the warning signs of abuse are one of our biggest keys to ensure that we keep our children safe from harm and prevent future abuse.  Please see my previous articles and resources; Knowing the signs of abuse to protect our childrenSee the Signs, Report It, and Save a Child’s Life, and Signs and Symptoms of Abuse, to learn more on how you can protect and prevent children from abuse.  Together we can increase our awareness and prevention programs, both within the U.S. and across the globe.  Today is the first step in increasing awareness and reporting abuse, tomorrow is  we must work strengthen the laws protecting children across the globe to ensure that all children are given a fighting chance.

For more information please see my previous articles on child abuse and resources Links for Abused Children and ParentsBooks for Children and Parents of Victims of Abuse, and Crisis Hotlines

  • Alexis

    no bitch , thats not the right thing too do too a child . what if your mom would smack you around and beat on you , then what.!!!! thats not even cool

  • Abby

    oh, that wasn’t good at all, I mean it terrible to abuse a child. thanks for the artical.


Cassandra Clifford
Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict