National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2019

Presidential Documents

13489

Proclamation 9854 of March 29, 2019

National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2019

By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation

Every child deserves the security of a stable, loving, and  nurturing  home. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recognize the importance of all Americans working together each day in defense of the most vulnerable among  us—our  children.  We  must  make  every  effort  to  ensure  that  they are treated with dignity and  respect,  and  have  the  opportunity  to  pursue their dreams in secure and healthy environments.

The relationships that children have with parents, family members, teachers, and other caregivers profoundly  shape  their  lives.  When  they  are  subjected to  abuse  and  neglect,  they  are  exposed  to  toxic  stress  that  can  disrupt early brain development and increase the risk of depression,  suicide,  sub- stance abuse, developmental disabilities, future  violence,  juvenile  delin- quency, and other unhealthy  behaviors.  These  and  other  devastating  effects of child abuse can last a lifetime, and can even affect future generations.

As a Nation, we must do everything within our power to stop child abuse and neglect before they occur. The best defense against these menaces is a strong family led by loving and caring parents. My Administration has a broad vision for strengthening families, which includes raising awareness, focusing on prevention, and working to help parents and children thrive. For this reason, I signed into law the Family First Prevention Services Act—an important step in helping move child welfare to a more prevention- based system. This legislation increases the support available to at-risk fami- lies through services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment and parenting skill-based programs, so that more children may remain safely in their homes and communities.

We cannot lose sight of the importance of the entire community in preventing child abuse and neglect. It is critically important for our children  to  have parents who care  for  their  physical,  intellectual,  and  emotional  needs.  But we also must acknowledge the friends, neighbors, educators, and faith leaders who help in promoting the well-being of children. We are especially grateful for foster and  adoptive  parents  who  graciously  open  their  homes  and  lives to children in need of love and support. And we extend our deepest respect and gratitude to the professionals, volunteers, and organizations who work tirelessly to protect at-risk children and to care for those who have tragically experienced the traumas of abuse or neglect.

We pray  for  all  those  who  have  suffered  from  the  terrors  of  child  abuse and neglect and who  continue  to  suffer  from  its  devastating  psychological and physical impacts. We honor the  courageous  survivors  of  abuse  and neglect and hold in our hearts  those  cruelly  taken  from  us.  We  strengthen our resolve to eradicate abuse and neglect from our homes and communities, and we  pledge  our  unwavering  commitment  to  preserving  the  innocence and safety  of  our  Nation’s  children.  Let  us  all  strive  each  day  to  build a brighter future for them and for our country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD  J.  TRUMP,  President  of  the  United  States of America, by virtue of the  authority  vested  in  me  by  the  Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. I call upon all Americans to invest in the lives of our Nation’s children, to be aware of their  safety  and  well- being, and to support efforts that  promote  their  psychological,  physical, and emotional development.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set  my  hand  this  twenty-ninth day of March, in the year  of  our  Lord  two  thousand  nineteen,  and  of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.