April: Child Abuse Prevention Month

Since 1983, April has been named the Child Abuse Prevention Month to bring awareness to the cause.
Blue pinwheel graphic made by Mallory Mills
Blue pinwheel graphic made by Mallory Mills
Mallory Mills

On April 1, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office planted a pinwheel garden to represent their support for the Prevent Child Abuse America foundation. Sadly, child abuse is an often unseen epidemic that ravages the world. In the US alone, there are over 3.6 million cases of child abuse reported each year (ChildProtect).

Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) month was coined by Prevent Child Abuse America in 1983. PCA America was created to stop neglect before it happens and to help affected children thrive by creating a state chapter network, providing home visits and more. In Iowa, there is only one state chapter located in Des Moines, but hopefully more are to come.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that at least one in every seven children has experienced child abuse or neglect.

Graphic made by Mallory Mills

Unfortunately, masses of cases go undocumented, so the real number is unknown. The CDC has identified and defined different types of child abuse and neglect in Child Maltreatment Surveillance (2008).


Physical Abuse: The intentional use of physical force against a child that results in, or has the potential to result in physical injury.

Sexual Abuse: Any completed or attempted (non-completed) sexual act, sexual contact with or exploitation (i.e., noncontact sexual interaction) of a child by a caregiver.

Psychological Abuse: Intentional caregiver behavior (i.e., act of commission) that conveys to a child that he/she is worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered or valued only in meeting another’s needs.


Failure to provide: Failure by a caregiver to meet a child’s basic physical, emotional, medical/dental or educational needs—or combination thereof.

Failure to supervise: Failure by the caregiver to ensure a child’s safety within and outside the home given the child’s emotional and developmental needs.

Your Part

In 2022, PCA America served 126,836 individuals under 18 through their adverse childhood experiences (child abuse/neglect) and corporal punishment programs. Not only that, they were able to support over 66,000 families with more than 98,000 children. They were only able to do this by the support of its partnerships as well as those who donate. Even if it seems small, there are actions you can take to help ensure children around you are kept safe.

  • Spread awareness. Tell your peers, family, friends and acquaintances the signs of abuse and neglect.
  • Never stay silent. If you know a child that is showing symptoms of child abuse and neglect, try to reach out to the child for information before contacting emergency services.
  • Support your state’s PCA. PCA America was made to help these children, you should support them so they can in turn support children in need.

Do not let children go unheard. Listen to them and prevent child abuse before it occurs.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Wahawk Insider

Your donation will support the student journalists of Waterloo West High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Mallory Mills
Mallory Mills, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief; Yearbook Section Editor
Mallory Mills is a senior at West High and this is her second year on yearbook and the Wahawk Insider staff. She is a reporter for the Wahawk Insider and is the People and Clubs/Orgs section editor for Yearbook. Outside of school, Mallory is usually listening to music, spending time with her family and friends, or attending a concert.
More to Discover
Donate to Wahawk Insider

Comments (0)

All Wahawk Insider Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *