Senator Cornyn

Cornyn Introduces Resolution Honoring National Child Abuse Prevention Month

May 10, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) led a resolution with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) expressing support for National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Text of the resolution is below.

Expressing support for the goals and ideals of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Whereas children are fundamental to the success of the United States and will shape the future of the United States;

Whereas elected representatives and leaders in the communities of the United States must be ever vigilant and proactive in support of evidence-based means to prevent child abuse and neglect and support families;

Whereas adverse childhood experiences (referred to in this preamble as “ACEs”) are traumatic experiences that occur during childhood with lasting effects and include experiences of violence, abuse, or neglect;

Whereas at least 5 of the top 10 leading causes of death are associated with ACEs;

Whereas preventing ACEs could reduce many health conditions, including—

(1) up to 21,000,000 cases of depression;

(2) up to 1,900,000 cases of heart disease; and

(3) up to 2,500,000 cases of overweight and obesity;

Whereas every child is filled with tremendous promise, and we all have a collective responsibility to prevent ACEs, foster the potential of every child, and promote positive childhood experiences;

Whereas investments in primary prevention of child abuse and neglect pay off, as studies show that the total lifetime economic burden associated with treating the consequences of child maltreatment is approximately $2,000,000,000,000;

Whereas, in 2021, an estimated 7,176,600 children were referred to child protective services agencies, alleging maltreatment;

Whereas, in 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline received more than 32,000,000 reports of suspected online child sexual exploitation, which marked the highest number of reports ever received in 1 year;

Whereas 87,100,000 pieces of child exploitation materials were reported in 2021;

Whereas reports indicate that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience sexual abuse before their eighteenth birthday, with 42,000,000 estimated child sexual abuse survivors in the United States;

Whereas approximately 1 in 7 children in the United States experienced child abuse, neglect, or both between 2022 and 2023;

Whereas 43 percent of children exposed to inappropriate sexual content on social media are under 13 years old, and 1 in 5 are 9 years old or younger;

Whereas 91 percent of child sexual abuse victims are abused by a person they know and trust;

Whereas children who are sexually abused, especially when not provided appropriate treatment and support, often suffer lifelong consequences, such as physical and mental health challenges and higher risk of drug and alcohol misuse and suicide;

Whereas education and awareness of possible signs of child abuse and neglect should be prioritized for purposes of prevention;

Whereas by intervening to prevent adversity and build resilience during the most critical years of development of a child, voluntary, evidence-based, home-visiting programs have shown positive impact on—

(1) reducing the recurrence of child abuse and neglect;

(2) decreased low-birthweight babies;

(3) improved school readiness for children; and

(4) increased high school graduation rates: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) expresses support for the goals and ideals of National Child Abuse Prevention Month;

(2) recognizes child abuse and neglect and child sexual abuse are preventable and that a healthy and prosperous society depends on strong families and communities;

(3) supports efforts to increase the awareness of, and provide education for, the general public of the United States, with respect to preventing child abuse and neglect and building protective factors for families;

(4) supports the efforts to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse heal;

(5) supports justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse; and

(6) recognizes the need for additional investments and Federal legislation for prevention, healing, and justice efforts related to childhood abuse and neglect and sexual abuse.