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WHEREAS, regardless of who they are or the circumstances of their birth, every child has the right to safe, secure, and supportive environments, free from abuse and neglect; and
WHEREAS, during Child Abuse Prevention Month, Virginians are reminded of the courage it takes to raise a child and that fundamental human rights mean living free from violence and abuse; and
WHEREAS, child abuse is considered to be one of our nation’s most serious public health problems, with scientific studies documenting the link between the abuse and neglect of children and a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral disorders; and
WHEREAS, child abuse can disrupt early brain development, and serious chronic stress can impair the development of nervous and immune systems; and
WHEREAS, keeping children safe from abuse means playing an active role in their lives, having check-ins, and teaching them the warning signs of abuse and how to protect themselves; and
WHEREAS, child abuse prevention creates a more compassionate society, one which places a high value on the welfare of children; and
WHEREAS, creating communities where families can access an array of support and resources to address the social, emotional and physical health of their children is the best way to combat child abuse; and
WHEREAS, Virginia remains committed to sustaining safe, nurturing, and supportive environments for families raising children; and
WHEREAS, effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships between families, social services agencies, schools, faith communities, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies, and the business community; and
WHEREAS, displaying a pinwheel during the month of April will serve as a positive reminder that together we can prevent child abuse and neglect, and in doing so keep children safe;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2018 as CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.