ICADV is excited to welcome our first guest blogger this month during Child Abuse Prevention Month. The intersections of domestic violence and child abuse are undeniable and we are committed to furthering initiatives and messages that work to end all violence in our communities and make homes safer for everyone. In this blog we hear from Kim Mangiaracino, Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois.


April marks Child Abuse Prevention Month, a crucial time for raising awareness about the prevalence and impact of child abuse in our communities. It’s a reminder of the urgent need to address this issue and unite to protect the most vulnerable among us – our children.

Child abuse takes many forms – physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect – leaving profound and lasting scars on its victims. Shockingly, thousands of children are reported as victims of abuse and neglect each year in Illinois alone, according to data from organizations like the Department of Children and Family Services. These numbers underscore the gravity of the problem and highlight the importance of action.

Central to Child Abuse Prevention Month is the imperative to raise awareness. Many cases of child abuse go unreported or unnoticed due to factors like fear, shame, or simply a lack of awareness about the signs and available resources. By shedding light on this issue, we empower individuals and communities to recognize the signs of abuse, intervene when necessary, and provide support to those in need.

In Illinois, the Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) play a pivotal role in this effort. These centers provide a safe haven where abused children can receive comprehensive services, including forensic interviews, medical evaluations, therapy, and support from trained professionals. By centralizing these services, CACs streamline the process for victims and their families, ensuring they get the care and support they need to heal and seek justice.

Moreover, Child Abuse Prevention Month serves as a rallying cry for policymakers, law enforcement, social service agencies, healthcare providers, educators, and community members to come together and prioritize the safety and well-being of children. This includes advocating for policies and funding to support child welfare services, strengthening laws to protect children from abuse, and investing in prevention efforts that address the root causes of abuse, such as poverty, substance abuse, and family dysfunction.

Additionally, it’s essential to recognize the role of trauma-informed care in supporting survivors of child abuse. Trauma can have profound and lasting effects on a child’s development and mental health, but with the right support and resources, they can heal and thrive. By promoting trauma-informed approaches in our communities, we can ensure that survivors receive the compassionate care and support they deserve.

As we observe Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, let us recommit ourselves to the protection and well-being of all children. Let us raise our voices, raise awareness, and raise hope for a future where every child can grow up in a safe and nurturing environment, free from the threat of abuse. Together, with the support of Children’s Advocacy Centers and dedicated individuals across Illinois, we can make a tangible difference and create a brighter future for generations to come.


— Kim Mangiaracino, Executive Director, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois