Why a Blue Ribbon?

The month of April is a time to celebrate spring, warmer weather, and vacations. April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month and a time for all of us to remember why child safety matters.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are close to four million reports of child abuse each year in the U.S.

Here in San Diego County, 39,025 abuse/neglect reports were made to the County’s Child Abuse Prevention Hotline which represents 67,824 children.

However, because we know much abuse goes unreported, the number of children abused and neglected is actually much higher.

Child Abuse Prevention month began in the early 1980s:

  • 1982: First Child Abuse Prevention Week established from June 6-12
  • 1983: April proclaimed as National Child Abuse Prevention Month
  • 1989: The Blue Ribbon is adopted as the symbol for Child Abuse Prevention

Since then, advocates around the US have conducted child abuse awareness and prevention activities every April.

The Blue Ribbon had its early beginnings in 1989 when a Virginia grandmother tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a tribute to her three-year-old grandson who died as a result of abuse—symbolizing the blue of her grandson’s bruises. This was her way to honor him and bring awareness about his tragic story and the overall problem of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country and remains a symbol of child abuse prevention today.

This month is a good time for each of us to remember how important children are and to remember why child safety should matter to each of us. It’s also a good time to remember that there are things each one of us can do to promote awareness and prevention as well.

There are also things you can do to help protect children. Here are some ideas for things you can do to promote child abuse prevention awareness this month:


Learn how to better protect your own children or the children in your life. If you are or know a caregiver to a child, you can use these worksheets to help you have critical conversations with loved ones.

Learn more about Home Start’s programs and how they help children and families break the cycles of abuse and neglect.


Wear a blue ribbon or display a blue ribbon on your social media sites, websites, or property. When someone asks, tell them what the blue ribbon means, and why child safety matters to you.


Make a donation or purchase tickets to attend our upcoming Blue Ribbon Gala. Our most immediate need to better protect children is funding. Help us celebrate our 51st year of protecting children by visiting blueribbongala.com to purchase tickets.

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