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Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month

Effective Date: Monday, April 1st, 2013

WHEREAS, every child is entitled to be loved, cared for, secure, and safe. It is the responsibility of our society to protect every child’s inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS, the hidden epidemic of child abuse, which crosses all boundaries of income, race, religion, and ethnicity, continues to be one of our most serious public health issues; and

WHEREAS, reports show that children younger than four years are at the greatest risk for severe abuse. In childhood, boys are at higher risk and experience more serious abuse; in adolescence, the risk increases for girls, especially for sexual abuse; and

WHEREAS, over 90 percent of abuse is perpetrated by people that children know, love, and trust, and over 6,400 allegations of child abuse or neglect were substantiated by the Alaska Office of Children’s Services in 2012; and

WHEREAS, the devastating impacts of child abuse go far beyond the immediate trauma. Victims develop feelings of shame, self-doubt, a poor self-image, and lack the ability to trust others. They may also suffer from learning disabilities, sleep disturbances, eating, speech, or post-traumatic stress disorders; and

WHEREAS, children who survive abuse endure lasting physical, mental, and emotional scars. They are more susceptible to dating violence and struggle to learn coping skills that are not harmful to themselves or others; and

WHEREAS, child abuse and neglect can be reduced by providing safe havens, emotional, social, legal, and financial support for victims and at-risk families; and by holding offenders accountable, we can ensure that all Alaska’s children grow to their full potential as healthy citizens; and

WHEREAS, Alaskan adults and parents must develop sufficient support structures to remain positive role models while providing beneficial social and cultural connections for our children. Providing the proper support to children in time of need and enhancing a child’s understanding of his or her self-worth are crucial components of providing a bright future and raising healthy Alaskan children.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 2012 as:


Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month

in Alaska, and call upon all Alaskans to join me in cherishing Alaska’s children and protecting them from harm.

Dated: February 8, 2013

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