Child abuse is a serious problem in Colorado with nearly 11,000 confirmed cases of abuse and neglect in the state each year, resulting in the death of as many as 40 children.
“Children are our future and protecting them must be one of our highest priorities,” declared Governor Hickenlooper in a proclamation issued on March 14, 2011, naming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“We are very fortunate to have the governor of our state assuming a leadership role in ensuring that our children are provided a safe and nurturing environment, free of violence and abuse and neglect,” said Pat Peterson, President and CEO of the Kempe Foundation. “In response to the governor’s leadership, we must all come together — human service providers, educators, legislators, law enforcement agents, nonprofits and citizens, as community partners to protect our children,” Peterson added.
It is anticipated that the General Assembly will adopt a joint resolution also proclaiming April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month in Colorado and encouraging all citizens of the state to take an active role in protecting our children.
Dr. C. Henry Kempe, founder of the Kempe Children’s Center, is often quoted as saying, “Our children’s future and the world’s future are one.” Dr. Kempe’s statement is even more profound today than when first made in the 1960s.
The Kempe Center, founded and located in Colorado, is recognized as a world leader in child abuse research and treatment programs. Kempe also is a leader in advocating programs directed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, including public education and awareness.
In his proclamation Governor Hickenlooper declared, “Children have a right to be safe and to be provided an opportunity to thrive, learn and grow…to their full potential as the next generation of leaders, helping to secure the future of this state and nation.”
“Kempe fully supports the governor and the General Assembly in their efforts to make Colorado a leader in caring for children, and we are committed to being an active partner in protecting our children, whether it involves treatment of abused and neglected children or prevention programs involving public education, awareness and advocacy,” remarked Jon Kruljac, chair of the board of the Kempe Foundation.