Gun Violence is the #1 killer of children in the United States

Children together

Below is a public statement following the Uvalde school massacre on behalf of The Kempe Center and The Kempe Foundation. 

“Many people often assume that child abuse and neglect occur inside the home, usually at the hand of family members, but the fact is that child abuse and neglect can happen anywhere by anyone. Victims include not only the child, but all those impacted by the abuse or neglect, including family members, friends, witnesses, community members, frontline service providers, and others. We now understand that the trauma of child abuse and neglect has a ripple effect that can expand both horizontally throughout a society, as well as vertically across generations.

The murder of a child is the most extreme form of child abuse and the recent massacre of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, compels us to speak out as the nation’s oldest academic center focused on the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. We at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect are committed to supporting children, families, and communities in raising healthy children in loving families.

We urge everyone—parents, community leaders, lawmakers, and professionals—to follow the research and evidence, including the wisdom and voices of those with lived experience, on how best to support children’s health and well-being and protect them from all forms of abuse and neglect. We know that gun violence is the number one killer of children in the United States and that society is not doing nearly enough to ensure that children are not killed with guns either intentionally or accidentally.

We call on our leaders and offer our trauma-informed expertise and support to work together to ensure that child abuse and neglect—in all of its forms—is eradicated so that children can grow and thrive in safe and healthy homes, schools, and communities.”     


About The Kempe Foundation:

The Kempe Foundation is a 501c (3) nonprofit organization focused on the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Kempe works to keep all children safe and healthy by supporting experts in the field, advocating for children and engaging with communities. Through partnerships with The Kempe Center, human service agencies, other child-serving nonprofits and funders, we make a difference in the lives of children, families and communities.  More information can be found at

About The Kempe Center:

The Kempe Center was the first of its kind, established in 1972 to better understand and prevent child maltreatment and to serve affected children and their families. For the past 50 years, Kempe has promoted understanding, knowledge, and best practices to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect locally, nationally, and internationally. Today we honor our legacy while looking ahead for ways to transform our field. It is our mission to improve the lives of children and families. We believe that abuse and neglect are preventable, and people are resilient. We are curious. We take a stand. We test assumptions. Our leadership in advocacy, research, education, and clinical work drives innovative strategies that transform the field. We ensure the integration of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in all areas of our work by way of discovery, leadership, action, accountability, evaluation, and transformation. In this way and through our work we strengthen families, communities and the systems that serve them. We are a catalyst, connecting people, information, and best practices to translate knowledge into action. More information can be found at: