Scottsdale, Ariz. / Many consider the U.S. a humanitarian nation- providing billions of dollars annually to countries throughout the world that are suffering. So, how does the largest world economy and the sole superpower let four children die from child abuse and neglect every day?
It’s a figure not found anywhere else in the industrialized world. According to UNICEF, research estimates that almost 3,500 children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse and neglect every year in the industrialized world. Child abuse estimates for the U.S. are that 1,460 children die annually from abuse – or 42% of the world total. Recent studies have estimated the impact to American society of child abuse to be over $100 billion annually.
The United States, Mexico and Portugal have rates that are between 10 and 15 times higher than other countries, yet child abuse is still an unchecked epidemic that receives little coverage beyond coverage of high profile cases.
Childhelp®, a national nonprofit, has been leading the charge against child abuse in the U.S. Dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children, Childhelp was instrumental in designating April as National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and establishing the Childhelp National Day of Hope which mobilizes mothers, fathers, business leaders and politicians across America to stop child abuse. It is a day that encourages people to observe a moment of silence and say a prayer for the four children who die every day in the U.S. from abuse and neglect in their own homes.
This year, Childhelp builds on 50 years of fighting back against child abuse and neglect. Though the organization has accomplished much and made an impact in the lives of millions of children, much more needs to be done. Child abuse cases have been increasing across the nation as CPS workers are being laid off during budget cuts and parents struggling with financial problems and venting their frustrations on their children.
There are many ways to make a difference in preventing child abuse and neglect, which include:
- Learn the signs and symptoms of abuse. Report known or suspected child abuse to the local police department. If you have questions about child abuse, call the Childhelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD®.
- Organize an event to raise money for programs serving abused children.
- Encourage a local restaurant to donate the proceeds from a specific menu item, hour or day to Childhelp.
- Help out a stressed-out parent by offering to baby-sit, make dinner or just lend an understanding ear.
- Volunteer your time and talents by finding the nearest Childhelp® chapter, auxiliary or facility that utilizes community volunteers.
What happens on National Day of Hope?
- People across the country light a four-wick candle and observe four minutes of silence or prayer in recognition of the four children who die each day as a result of abuse and neglect in the home, and the millions more who suffer.
- TV stations in selected U.S. cities display a National Day of Hope candle on their news anchors desks, and air stories on the subject of child abuse.
- overnors, mayors and members of the U.S. Congress are asked to open their meetings or legislative sessions on the first Wednesday of April with the lighting of a four-wick candle and prayer or moment of silence.
- The annual Childhelp National Day of Hope Luncheon takes place on April 1st on Capitol Hill to rally child advocates and legislators to continue fighting for our nation’s children.
In 2009, Childhelp commemorates 50 years of bringing the light of hope and healing into the lives of countless children. CEO and Co-Founder Sara O’Meara and President and Co-Founder Yvonne Fedderson started Childhelp in 1959, establishing it as a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect and at-risk children. Childhelp’s approach focuses on advocacy, prevention, treatment and community outreach.
The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD®, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Childhelp’s programs and services also include residential treatment services; children’s advocacy centers; therapeutic foster care; group homes and child abuse prevention, education and training. Childhelp also created the Childhelp National Day of Hope®, held each April during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, that mobilizes people across America to join the fight against child abuse.
For more information about Childhelp and to learn how to get involved in our 50th anniversary celebration, please call 480-922-8212 or visit www.childhelp.org.