We tend to romanticize childhood as a more carefree time in our lives, when we would worry less, dream bigger, and feel happier. For far too many people, this idyllic notion was far from reality. Child abuse and neglect remain serious problems in the United States and around the world. Related issues like bullying and conditions like poverty make the problem even more detrimental and prevalent. The scars that people pick up from such a childhood haunt them well into adulthood and can affect the course of their lives.
With that said, no one’s life needs to be this way, and prevention is possible. Organizations have arisen to provide resources that allow children to grow in a healthy environment. One such group is Prevent Child Abuse America, whom we — and many others — are proud to call an ally in the fight against child abuse. Here is some more information about who they are and what they do.
What is Prevent Child Abuse America?
The organization’s website states that Prevent Child Abuse America was founded by Donna J. Stone in Chicago, in 1972. At the time, much of the behavior that we consider abusive today was still viewed as normal. Stone and her fellow volunteers in what was then called the Family Achievement Center soon organized “the first ever national conference on child abuse prevention.” Four years later, they expanded their reach beyond Chicago, opening their first new chapter in Kansas and initiating a public service campaign.
Today, Prevent Child Abuse America has a chapter in nearly every state of the United States. Some of their programs operate nationwide and even have a limited reach outside the country. It was the first organization to make this their sole issue, and it continues to be among the most famous, most influential, and overall best.
Healthy Families America
As we mentioned in our list of the best children’s charities, one of Prevent Child Abuse America’s flagship programs is Healthy Families America. Developed and launched in time for the organization’s 20th anniversary, this program initially sent volunteers to homes and communities in 22 states. In the quarter-century since, they expanded their scope to 41 American states, as well as “Canada and all 5 U.S. Territories.”
Healthy Families America provides services to families in need of guidance in raising and caring for a child. Volunteers visit regularly for several years and assist as needed. Their duties may range from educating parents on child development to checking on the health and well-being of the kid. The program may even help them with healthcare access. Along the way, they nurture the trust of the parents and provide stability to the home and a healthy foundation for childhood.
Recent studies serve as evidence that the Healthy Families American approach is bearing results. In most cases, the program’s perks and services have brought tangible benefits to the family. This happens because they work to not simply help the family with their immediate needs, but create something stable and strong.
The Estimated Annual Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect
Prevent Child Abuse America’s sole mission is “to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.” To record how much progress they make, and to show the importance of the issue, the organization conducts plenty of research. Most famously, they released a report titled “The Estimated Annual Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect.” In this report, they calculated that the failure to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children costs taxpayers about $80 billion every year.
Their researchers derived the number from the amount of money required for foster care, investigations, education, and medical care. They also factored in the effects of child abuse on every stage of life: crime and chronic health issues. All of this was multiplied by a million — the approximate number of children per year who experience abuse and neglect.
The report attempts to quantify the unquantifiable toll of child abuse on the country at large. The organization and other groups and individuals use this statistic as ammunition in their efforts to lobby governmental representatives for effective prevention measures. In the bigger picture, they also use this information to persuade people that the abuse of even one child affects everyone.
Additional Programs and Efforts
There is more to Prevent Child Abuse America than their famous program and their widely-acknowledged report. Arguably the second most notable program from the organization is Pinwheels for Prevention. This initiative, started in 2008, encourages people to plant pinwheels on their yards, windows, gardens, and school grounds. The whimsical ornaments serve as “symbol[s] of the great childhoods we wish for all children.” Buying them helps support the organization, and displaying them in April, annually designated as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, shows your support for prevention programs.
Prevent Child Abuse America also offers a variety of resources on their website to educate parents and others on how to prevent abuse, neglect, and bullying. Furthermore, as we mentioned in our description of the cost report, they have a political side to their work. Their advocacy efforts focus on “policies, legislature, and programs that promote healthy child development and prevent child abuse and neglect.” In being comprehensive, they try to fulfill their mission in every way they can — and give others the opportunity to do the same.
How Does No Love 4 Help?
If you have no love for child abuse, you can help make a difference by shopping here at No Love 4. Our men’s and women’s clothing bear slogans against many of the ills that plague humanity. With our merchandise, you can make a statement and spread the word while still looking fashionable.
Best of all, every cent of each purchase goes to a charity of your choice, with Prevent Child Abuse America being among your options. Essentially, when you make a donation through us, we give you a reward in return. Order your own “No Love 4 Abuse” shirts, or even a mug, from our store and contribute to a good cause today.