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Child abuse is focal point of newly proposed legislation

In an article written recently by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Kerry makes this observation concerning what he calls the "awful truth" about the United States: Among all the industrialized nations on earth, the country ranks highest in deaths relating to child abuse.

Given that sad fact, Kerry says that the United Sates desperately needs a national strategy for identifying and dealing with domestic violence acts that harm children.

The need for that is certainly great, as relevant statistics make starkly clear. Multiple sources estimate that about three million children suffer from abuse and neglect each year in the United States and that more than 1,700 of them die annually as a result. Kerry says that a child somewhere in the country is being abused or neglected at the rate of once every 36 seconds.

Kerry and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently introduced a piece of bi-partisan legislation aimed at reducing child abuse across the country. The Protect Our Kids Act would set up a national commission of child, health care, family and other experts tasked with developing a plan "to prevent or identify maltreatment deaths and tell us what works and what doesn't."

Kerry seeks to garner maximum attention for this effort now, with April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month. He says that devising a more accurate way to report instances of abuse, maltreatment and neglect would be an optimal first step to take, followed by the systematic action of authorities to develop a comprehensive umbrella strategy nationwide.

The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths is partnering with Kerry and others in promoting the Protect Our Kids Act.

Source: Huffington Post, "April is Child Abuse Prevention Month," John Kerry, March 30, 2012

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