National Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Tami Herman, MSW

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month.  Although exact figures are unknown at this time, estimates from the Department of Justice and non-governmental organizations suggest a high number of commercially sexually exploited children in the country.  About 1.7 million youth run away from home every year in America. Some children are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.  One study estimates that the average age a child lured into prostitution is 12 to 14 years old.  Many runaways leave home due to circumstances of physical and/or sexual abuse and neglect only to end up being re-victimized upon arriving onto the streets.  Commercial sexual exploitation of children is CHILD ABUSE.  The International Labor Organization estimates worldwide there are 246 million exploited children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old forced into the drug trade, the arms trade, panhandling, factory work, recruited for armies, etc. Labor exploitation of children is CHILD ABUSE.  The abuse suffered at the hands of traffickers leave children with physical and emotional scars impacting them for a lifetime. Children have a right to be free from harm and protected by society.  We entrust these children to lead our countries into future prosperity.  We invest in our children for the sake of future generations.  If we don’t nurture and protect them, our society will cease to be.  Take a stand and be a voice for trafficked children worldwide. Make a commitment to bring light to this atrocity.  What will you do to break the cycle of abuse for our nation’s children and heal them?

Tami Herman serves on the Board of Directors for CMSHTC, and is Regional Training Manager for Missouri Alliance for Children and Families. She and her husband have two daughters.

For additional information on National Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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