Child Abuse Prevention

Position Statement

“The Peace and Justice Committee supports actions by The House of Hope Presbyterian Church and by church members to prevent child abuse on a national, statewide and local community level.”

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14 NLT

Whereas child abuse is a national tragedy, affecting millions of children and families every year. According to The Children’s Bureau’s latest Child Maltreatment Report published in January 2017, child abuse referrals have increased from 3.6 million in 2015 to 4 million in 2016,

Whereas the United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average almost five children every day to child abuse and neglect,

Whereas child abuse and neglect affect children of every age, race and socioeconomic background,

Whereas Minnesota children are also suffering from this epidemic of child abuse and neglect.

Whereas, according to Minnesota’s Child Maltreatment Report, 2016 compiled by the Department of Human Services, there were 75,624 reports of child maltreatment in 2016 – an 11.2% increase from 2015. More than 40% of these reports were screened in,

Whereas, since 2009, there has been a 79.7 percent increase in screened in reports,

Whereas another specific type of child abuse has been occurring in our country, as children are being separated from their parents at the border. According to Office of Refugee Resettlement data, the federal government has separated more than 700 children from their parents as they entered the United States, the majority of these families requesting asylum. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and over 200 other child welfare organizations have condemned the practice of separating children from their parents.

Action Plan

The goal of child abuse prevention is simple—to stop child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place, sparing children and families emotional and physical trauma and decreasing the need for costly intervention and treatment services. The best way to prevent child abuse and neglect is to support families and provide parents with the skills and resources they need.

Therefore, the Peace and Justice Committee supports actions by this church and its members to work for community action and reform legislation at both the local, state and national levels that includes the following activities:

  1. The Peace and Justice Committee will inform the congregation of legislation involving child abuse prevention and will plan activities to help raise awareness and protect children.
  1. We will foster our relationship with Safe Families for Children, an agency that provides support to families in an effort to prevent child abuse, and get more individual congregation members involved as well.
  1. In April, we will have a “blue ribbon campaign” to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  1. We will work closely with Minnesota Communities Caring for Children and Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota to help reduce the risk of child abuse and neglect by promoting family and community health and well-being across the state.

If you would like to become involved with the Peace and Justice Committee in this effort to prevent child abuse, please contact Jill Winter at (612) 702-2978 or . We greatly appreciate your interest and involvement.