WHEREAS, every child is entitled to love, care, security, and protection from abuse, exploitation, and neglect, and we must protect our children’s inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and
WHEREAS, child abuse is one of our society’s most serious public health issues that affects millions of children nationwide and thousands in Alaska, and over 90 percent of child abuse is perpetuated by people the children know, love, and trust; and
WHEREAS, the devastating effects of emotional, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse can surpass immediate trauma and potentially last a lifetime, and victims of childhood abuse are considered to be at high-risk for chronic mental and physical health issues, such as depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, obesity, heart disease, and more; and
WHEREAS, the promotion of protective factors can limit childhood trauma and build resilience, and positive childhood experiences can mitigate the long-term mental health impacts of child abuse and neglect; and
WHEREAS, families and communities can create a strong support network by providing safe and nurturing homes that are free of violence, abuse, and neglect, by extending helping hands to children and families in need, and by providing all children with opportunities that foster community connectedness and social-emotional development; and
WHEREAS, children can thrive when Alaskan communities build meaningful partnerships between schools, professional health services, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, law enforcement, tribal leadership, and organizations; and
WHEREAS, by working together, we can stem the tide of abuse in our communities and build bright futures for Alaska’s children.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim April 2023 as:
Child Abuse Prevention Month
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to commit to preventing child abuse and supporting efforts to ensure the safety of every child. Please report any instances of known or suspected child abuse and neglect by immediately calling 911 or your local police department, along with the Office of Children’s Services at 1-800-478-4444. Together, we can create safe homes and strong families in every Alaskan community.
Dated: April 1, 2023