AJ Freund, the five year old, allegedly killed by kids parents is just one of the nearly 5 children who die each day in the U.S. due to abuse and neglect. Despite over well over a century of public policy interventions to stop the abuse, almost 700,000 children in the U.S. are abused each year.
Is it time to get serious about preventing child abuse, rather than responding after the harm has occurred? We know that some people are not ready to become parents. Yet, we stand by and wait for a problem before we act. The truth is that some people – like AJ’s parents – are just not ready. How do we identify parents that might not be ready? Convictions for prior abuse and neglect are a good start. Having Kids has developed model legislation designed to break the myth that everyone is ready to be a parent, and to target child abuse before it begins.
Contact the Governor of Illinois, where AJ died, at 312-814-2121 and ask him to consider calling for Fair Start legislation. You can also start at the top, and urge the United Nations Secretary General to speak out on the need for a universal Fair Start family planning system. It’s time to get serious about preventing child abuse.