WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Congresswoman Ann Kuster (NH-02) introduced a resolution to recognize April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Representatives Joyce and Kuster serve as Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence.
“No one should have to experience any form of violence or abuse, especially our children,” said Congressman Joyce, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “As a father, I am proud to introduce this resolution alongside Congresswoman Kuster to raise awareness for child abuse, educate on signs of abuse, and learn ways to help in our communities. Together, we will ensure the safety and security of our kids.”
“We have a responsibility to protect our nation’s most vulnerable from abuse and neglect,” said Congresswoman Kuster, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “I am proud to partner with Congressman Joyce to raise awareness about child abuse, prevention, and intervention. We can and must do more to keep our children across the country safe, and this effort will help us accomplish that goal.”
“The unifying recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month is an important and visible step in acknowledging that preventing child abuse and neglect is possible. Prevention happens in partnership, and we are truly inspired by this opportunity to lean in together around the common goal of strengthening families and protecting kids. When families have what they need, when they need it before they find themselves in crisis, we can begin to imagine a country where all parents are supported and where child abuse and neglect can be prevented,” said Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America.
“We all want every child in Ohio to grow up healthy in a safe, nurturing family and community. Preventing child maltreatment requires a collective commitment from all of us to strengthen and support families in their own communities. When the people who care for children have the support and resources they need, then children get the nurturing environments they deserve and the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Nicole Sillaman, Executive Director of Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, Ohio’s Prevent Child Abuse America’s Chapter.
“Thank you Representatives Joyce and Kuster for drawing much needed attention to the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect. Violence and abuse can be prevented but we must all come together to invest in community-based supports that lift up familes, and we must transform our child welfare system so it can focus on serious cases of violence while providing aid to the vast majority of families who simply need help,” said Kiersten Stewart, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Futures Without Violence.
“As the only national organization advocating for child athlete survivors of sexual violence, The Army of Survivors is committed to ending sexual violence against young athletes through transformative culture change. The Army of Survivors thanks Representatives Dave Joyce and Annie Kuster for centering the voices of survivors while supporting efforts to help survivors of child sexual abuse heal,” said Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, Executive Director of the Army of Survivors.
“By promoting safety, permanence, and well-being for children, and by strengthening their families, we have the potential to make the future a better place for all. Having worked with child welfare systems throughout the US and internationally for more than four decades, we are acutely aware of necessity of prevention, and applaud efforts to bring public attention to the need for community support to sustain families, and a well-trained, professional child welfare work force,” said Dr. Judith Rycus of the Institute for Human Services in Columbus Ohio.
“We know what works to end sexual violence against children. Now it’s on us to bring it to scale. We have access to evidence-based systems, policies, and programs that can significantly reduce violence rates and ensure every survivor can access the healing they need and justice they deserve. This resolution is a welcome step toward creating a safer future. With boldness and courage, we can put an end to sexual violence in our lifetime. The time to act is now,” said Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director of Together for Girls, co-founder of Keep Kids Safe, and a survivor of childhood sexual violence.
“The support of Reps. Joyce and Kuster in introducing a resolution recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month is invaluable in keeping the spirit of prevention and safety at the heart of our democracy this April. We and the more than 1,000 agencies nationwide in the Children’s Advocacy Center movement work every day to relay the importance of the vigilance of ordinary people in the fight against child abuse, and this resolution raises the profile of our issue to the halls of Congress. Reps. Joyce and Kuster have our heartfelt thanks,” said Denise Edwards, Director of Government Affairs at National Children’s Alliance.
“Our nation is at its best when we come together to keep kids safe. This resolution recognizes the reality of sexual violence against children and adolescents and the importance of community-led, evidence-based solutions. Together, we can prevent future abuse, provide healing for survivors and their families, and seek justice against perpetrators. Thank you to Reps. Joyce and Kuster for highlighting both the scope of the problem and the proven solutions before us,” said Tom Krumins, Keep Kids Safe.
“We are so incredibly grateful to Representatives Kuster and Joyce for their commitment to raising much-needed awareness for preventing child abuse and neglect. This resolution will shine a bright light on what we need to do, collectively, to save lives and end abuse. As an organization that serves youth from as early as Pre-k through 12th grade, we recognize the importance of removing obstacles and providing access to prevention education that is evidence-based, and trauma-informed, to empower children and the adults in their lives to keep children safe. We look forward to continuing to move this work forward, along with our partners at Keep Kids Safe. Together, with this increased awareness and support, we will create and implement sustainable and transformational solutions,” said Tanya Ramos-Puig, CEO of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children.
“Child abuse can lead to a wide range of conditions including anxiety and substance abuse. Psychological research has led to preventive techniques to mitigate these problems, but more remains to be done. The American Psychological Association commends Reps. David Joyce and Ann Kuster for their resolution for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As we continue to work to solve the chlidren’s mental health crisis in American, APA stands ready to work with our congressional partners to address this critical issue,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association.
“The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) thanks Representatives Joyce and Kuster for this resolution in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse and neglect are serious problems, rooted in unhealthy relationships and environments, that can have lasting harmful effects on victims. In addition to ensuring a robust safety net of concrete and economic supports for children and families—the first line of defense in preventing neglect—Congress has a duty to promote, pass, and fund legislation that protects children from abuse and neglect and that provides intervention and treatment for children and families when it occurs. This resolution highlights the critical need for more attention and investment in preventing child maltreatment,” said Christine James-Brown, President and CEO of CWLA.