This month as we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Blue Bow Campaign, we’re highlighting a handful of sponsors and committee members to learn what the month means to them and why it’s so crucial.

We recently heard from Ed Davies, Director of the Power of Fathers Initiative, for his thoughts on this very important month:

Why is Child Abuse Prevention Month so important? Why is it so meaningful to you?

It’s necessary to highlight the importance of protecting children from and preventing abuse that may traumatize them, and adversely impact their growth and development…and ultimately their futures.

It’s meaningful to me because as a father, I want to ensure that the adults who support the education, growth and development of my children have the right mindset and skillset to help them thrive. I also want to make sure the children they come in contact with also are well-supported and protected.

What is your approach to preventing child abuse? How are you helping to prevent it?

My approach is to help parents develop the knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors to raise their children in a way that does not include abuse.

What trends/changes have you seen regarding child abuse over the years? What is making a difference in moving the needle?

The most prevalent trend I’ve seen is when abuse happens as a part of disciplining children. Another trend is parents who have untreated trauma, in turn traumatize their children.

Better support for parents is moving the needle – not just helping them develop better parenting skills, but by primarily addressing their own trauma and thereby minimizing their adverse impact on their own children.

What do you want people to know about preventing child abuse?

I want people to know the cascading, ripple-effect that child abuse has. It isn’t about that one (or more) incident of abuse, but more about the impact of that abuse on their lives, and the lives of the people around them, including their future children.

How can others help make a difference?

They can amplify the importance of protecting children, and the ways to do so, through their formal and informal networks.

What do you do to recognize the month? What does the blue bow mean to you?

We highlight this month with the fathers in our program, and spend extra time dedicated to emphasizing their role in promoting the protective factors and preventing child abuse.

The bow symbolizes the “present” adults can be to children (who are a present to us) by their decisions and actions to protect children and help them thrive. The blue color represents the hope we have for all children that they will group up.