As we quickly approach April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, APSAC would like to thank you for all that you do on behalf of the children you serve and to support your community awareness activities. In our forthcoming newsletter, we will include information for ordering pinwheels, writing proclamations and other ways to bring attention to child maltreatment. This message is to encourage you to PLAN NOW and to help you make your voice heard in your local media.
April is the right time to share APSAC’s vision of a world where all children and their families have access to the highest level of professional commitment and service to prevent and address child maltreatment.
One of the easiest ways to share and promote our vision is to prepare a letter to the editor. This link offers advice on writing a letter that an editor would be glad to publish.
You might consider writing a similar op-ed. Short for opinion-editorial, op-eds are a bit more formal that letters to the editors and generally state an opinion backed up with solid facts. This link offers advice on writing a good op ed. Typically, if you submit an op-ed to a specific news outlet, you should not submit it elsewhere until they have informed you if they do not plan to publish it.
APSAC has been focusing on ending corporal punishment and encourage you to consider writing on this topic. For reference, check out the new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The American Psychological Association (APA) just released their own new policy against parents hitting children. These two large professional organizations issuing similar recommendations within the last six months is a newsworthy topic for child abuse prevention month. You can also highlight APSAC’s support for the new AAP policy statement on child discipline and our collaboration with the US Alliance and NY Foundling to end the corporal punishment of children. The graphic below shows where letters and op-eds on this topic have already been published; can you help reach the other communities?
All op-eds and letters to the editor need a strong opening statement that grabs the readers’ attention and states your most important point. Sadly, the news has been providing many things a child abuse prevention advocate could use as a hook. Recent events that could provide a compelling ‘hook’ include the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, charges against R Kelly for violence against women and girls, and the alleged sexual abuse of thousands of migrant children in US custody.
This link goes to a table that estimates how much money each state is spending on the aftermath of child maltreatment, based on the number of victims reported in the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Consider comparing that number to the cost of prevention!
We hope you choose to raise your voice in your community. When you do, please mention that you are a member of APSAC, link to our website, and send us the link to your published letter or op-ed for us to post. The board and staff at APSAC stand ready to assist you.
Dave Corwin, MD, APSAC President
Trish Gardner, JD, APSAC Immediate Past-President
Stacie LeBlanc, JD, APSAC Vice President
Janet Rosenzweig, PhD, MPA APSAC Executive Director