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Proclamation 5315—National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 1985

April 04, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

There is no more important test of a society than how it treats its children. Children are not only a joy to the parents who raise them; they also represent a society's future. It is imperative for American society to protect its children and nurture them.

More and more Americans are turning once again to strong and loving families as the best way to provide a nurturing environment for children. This is as it should be, but there are still many indications that we must do more to protect our children and show that we love each and every one of them. One of the most disturbing of these indications is the fact that more than 1.5 million children will be reported to local child protective agencies this year as suspected victims of child abuse or neglect. As a direct result of their maltreatment, many of these children will suffer diminished opportunity to develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially, or to become fully contributing citizens.

Their loss is our Nation's loss. In the past decade, our knowledge of how to prevent and treat child abuse has grown substantially. The most important thing we have learned is that the active involvement of neighbors and friends—indeed of everyone in a community—is the key to success. Community child protection agencies cannot do the job alone but must rely on neighbors, friends, teachers, relatives, doctors, and volunteers to provide critical support, information, and guidance to families in which child maltreatment may occur.

Beyond these efforts, we should all consider every day the kind of society we want to create. Problems such as child pornography, violence on television, teenage suicide, missing children, and child abuse are all related to the strength or weakness of our society's values. We should resolve to strengthen the fundamental values of family and community on which our Nation was founded and which can alone provide it with a good future for all our children.

In recognition of our shared responsibility to reduce the occurrence of child abuse and neglect, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 121, has designated the month of April 1985 as "National Child Abuse Prevention Month," and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this period.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April 1985 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As we observe this time, let us all consider the wholesome and secure development of our children on whom we depend to advance our national character and values.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on April 5.

Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5315—National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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