Adults step up and speak out to protect children from sexual abuse

Adults step up and speak out to protect children from sexual abuse

Advocacy Center promoting child protection during National Child Abuse Prevention Month

news@theeveningtimes.com

The Children's Advocacy Center of Eastern Arkansas (CACEA) is marking Child Abuse Prevention Month with several events and free trainings. The focus is on preventing child sexual abuse by sharing tips on how adults can step up and speak out to protect children in our community.

During April and all year long, The Children's Advocacy Center of Eastern Arkansas encourages adults and organizations in the community to play a vital role in making Crittenden County a safer place for children. By encouraging adults to step up and speak out to protect children, we can bring awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse in our communities and foster conversations around how we can all work together to prevent it from happening.

“Protecting children from sexual abuse should be our number one goal,” said Lori DeShazo, Director of The Children's Advocacy Center of Eastern Arkansas. “Together, we can stand up to demand that children are protected and speak out to encourage adults to make it happen. It takes all of us.”

National Child Abuse Prevention Month events:

Monday, April 2, 10 a.m.

— Flag Raising Ceremony/ Pinwheel Planting at the West Memphis Police Department, 626 E. Broadway.

Monday, April 9, 1 to 3:30 p.m. — Darkness 2 Light Training at Mid-South Health Systems (Must RSVP), 905 N. 7th St.

Tuesday, April 10, 6 p.m.

— Parent Night for Maddux and Weaver Elementary Schools at Weaver Elementary, 1280 E. Barton Ave.

Wednesday, April 11, 10 a.m. — Prevention Rally on the steps of the State Capitol, 500 Woodlane, in Little Rock.

Thursday, April 19, 5 to 7 p.m. — Chamber of Com- merce Business After Hours at Mid-South Health Systems, 905 N. 7th St. Please contact The Children’s Advocacy Center of Eastern Arkansas for more information on any of these events. Will you be an adult that will step up and speak out and learn how to prevent child sexual abuse and make our community a safer place for children?

Child sexual abuse statistics:

• One in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. • 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser. • Approximately 30 percent of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members. • 60 percent of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone. • False reports are rare. Research shows that only 4 to 8 percent of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated.

What to do if you believe a child is being abused:

• You do not need to have proof that abuse is occurring to make a report, only reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means that you have witnessed maltreatment or boundary violations, either in the child or adult, or both. Or, you have received a disclosure from a child about abuse, neglect, or boundary violations towards them.

• Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the police and/or the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline at 1844-SAVE-A-CHILD.

About The Children's Advocacy Center of Eastern Arkansas The CACEA, a program of Mid-South Health Systems,

is a nonprofit organization established in 2007. Our mission is to reduce the trauma associated with child abuse investigations through prevention, education, and intervention. We are a nationally accredited, child-focused center serving Crittenden, Cross, Lee, Phillips and St. Francis Counties. Our main center is located in West Memphis and our satellite center is in Forrest City.

By the Evening Times News Staff

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