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Fly the Children’s Memorial Flag To Commemorate April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month

4/6/2001:   Among the world’s top 26 industrialized countries, the United States is atop the list in homicides against children and youth under age 15, accounting for 73 percent of all homicides and 54 percent of all suicides. The causes include guns, motor vehicles and child abuse. In honor and recognition of the 80,000 children who die each year under violent and tragic circumstances*, the Child Welfare League of America promotes display of the Children's Memorial Flag at any time a child dies from violence and throughout April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Children’s Memorial Flag is a simple, moving image— a red flag depicting blue, paper-doll-like figures of children holding hands. In the center, the white chalk outline of a missing child symbolizes children lost to violence. Created by a 16-year-old student in Alameda County, California, the flag honors each lost child and raises public awareness about the continuing problem of violence against children.

So far, 46 states have agreed to participate in an impressive bipartisan effort to publicize the initiative by flying the Children’s Memorial flag, issuing proclamations, or participating in ceremonies to memorialize children. Throughout the country, county officials, mayors, directors of social service agencies, hospitals, schools, district attorneys, police chiefs, and others will fly the flag and hold ceremonies on Children’s Memorial Flag Day, the fourth Friday in April (April 27, 2001).

Some organizations fly the flag all month long or throughout the year whenever a child dies from violence.

Congress has introduced a resolution into both houses that would officially recognize Children’s Memorial Flag Day.

To find out more about the Children’s Memorial Flag, Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, and what you can do to prevent child abuse and neglect, go to the CWLA website www.cwla.org and click on the flag image.

*CORRECTION -- E-Bulletin #22 stated that "...80,000 children die each year (in the United States) under violent and tragic circumstances..." This is incorrect. The total number of deaths for children ages 0 to 18 from all causes is approximately 55,000. The number of children who die directly from abuse and neglect is approximately 1,000 per year. Additionally, approximately 18,000 youths die annually from accidents, homicides, and suicides. These figures are taken from the U.S. Government’s National Vital Statistics Report.


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