April 4, 1983
Child abuse and child neglect continue to threaten the lives and health of over a million of our Nation’s children. Their physical suffering and emotional anguish challenge us, as parents, neighbors, and citizens, to increase our attention to their protection and intensify our efforts to prevent their maltreatment.
Children may be endangered by physical battering, denial of the basic necessities for life and health, sexual abuse and exploitation, or emotional cruelty. Public concern can help prevent maltreatment and help protect children. Action taken after cruelty has occurred is often too late. Prevention of abuse requires that neighborhoods and communities be attentive to the problems of families in their midst and be willing to help when help is needed. It requires the active concern of educational, medical, mental health, law enforcement, and social service professionals, and the efforts of volunteers and private citizens.
The health and well-being of our children underlie the future of our Nation. The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 21, has recognized the need for public attention to prevention of child abuse and has requested me to proclaim April 1983 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April 1983 as “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.” I urge all citizens to renew our Nation’s commitment to meet the serious challenge that child abuse and child neglect pose to the welfare of our children and families.
I invite the Governors of the States; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territories; the Mayor of the District of Columbia; the heads of voluntary and private groups; and the offices of local, State and Federal government to join in this observance. I also urge them to encourage activities whose purpose is to prevent and treat child abuse and child neglect.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 4th day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.