Proclamation 5802 -- National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 1988


April 28, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


All Americans have great reason to regret and to seek to repair the alarming incidence and prevalence of child abuse and neglect that continue throughout our country. Each year many American children suffer child abuse, and every year many perish in these attacks. The incidence of child abuse and neglect cuts across every income level and geographic area in our land.


This tragic situation is unacceptable -- and preventable. Dedicated individuals, private and civic groups, and government bodies are doing much to protect children, but, unfortunately, much remains to be achieved. Caring for children is, of course, the responsibility of parents; but neighbors, relatives, and friends must help protect children when parents or others attack or neglect them. We will truly prevent child abuse and protect our youngsters only to the extent that we cherish children as gifts from our Creator; foster deep and abiding reverence for the innocence and the God-given individual dignity and worth of every child; and treasure the sanctity of every human life.


It is in this spirit that we must assure America's children a loving, safe, and healthful environment. The members of professions, such as law enforcement, social work, church, medicine, mental health, and education, must continue to do their part, as must concerned individuals. Let all Americans reflect on our obligation to children and to families, and then let us put our compassion into action.


The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 246, has designated April 1988 as ``National Child Abuse Prevention Month'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 1988 as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. As we observe this time, let us all consider our responsibility for the wholesome and secure development of our children.


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


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:19 p.m., April 29, 1988]