At the Children’s Advocacy Center, we are excited to celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month in April 2019. In Ottawa County, at least 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they reach adulthood; that is the equivalent of 6,800 children in our county today1. We understand that those statistics can be overwhelming, producing fear or even apathy. However, these numbers are slowly declining due to sustained and evidence-based prevention efforts, and that is something to celebrate and use as motivation to continue! As members of the Ottawa County SCAN Council (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect), it is our goal to live in a community in which no child experiences any form of abuse, and we want you to join us in our mission.
With this goal in mind, we are taking the month of April to join national efforts to increase awareness around not only child abuse, but the power that each of us has to keep the children in our lives safe. Prevention is not complicated or difficult; by building resilience, awareness and knowledge of child abuse and how to prevent it we can improve the safety of our families and community for every child2.
How can you add tools to your power to prevent child sexual abuse? Here are some options to start:
Join us at our Guns and Hoses Dodgeball awareness and fundraising event on April 13th at Macatawa Bay Middle School Gym from 12:00p to 3:00p. This event is open to the public and all proceeds will go to the Children’s Advocacy Center’s efforts to eradicate child abuse in our community. A special thanks to our local police and fire departments who are sure to be locked in friendly competition.
Visit our Prevention page at the CAC website to see a variety of training options and tools that you can implement today: http://www.cac-ottawa.org/prevention/
Get more information about our national, evidence-based Darkness To Light adult training that focuses on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. More information and registration can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D2Lregistration
Visit www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/ to get more tips and tools that you can begin implementing today.
Most importantly, do not let your voice go unheard!
Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013). Estimating a child sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners: studies. Charleston,S.C., Darkness to Light. Retrieved from www.D2L.org.