Child abuse prevention program kicks off April 1
Published 9:22 am Thursday, March 26, 2015
Local organizations that work with children in Davie County are coming together for a community celebration to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month on April 1.
Everyone is invited to the event being on the square in Downtown Mocksville at 10 a.m.
The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center, Davie County DSS, Health Department, Davie Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Center, Guardian Ad Litem, and Smart Start of Davie County are collaborating on the effort to bring awareness to the community on how to prevent child abuse.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention month.
“The statistics are staggering,” said Brandi Reagan, executive director for The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center. “One in four girls, and one in 6 boys will experience some form abuse before they are 18; and these are just the statistics from those who report it.
“Most never tell. We hope that by joining together with all of these other agencies that serve children, we can reach more people in our community to raise awareness about abuse. We are all striving to help children in Davie County be safe, healthy, and thrive, so we are thrilled to be collaborating on this with other service agencies in Davie,” she said.
The event will include the reading of the official proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Mocksville. Pinwheels will be planted in the planter boxes along the sidewalks to symbolize the event and honor children.
The children gathered will be participating in a balloon release to honor and remember those abused.
Light refreshments, provided by the Davie County Health Department, will be provided to the children. This event is free and open to the public.
Wear blue, the color of Child Abuse Prevention Month, to show support.
In addition to the event, The Dragonfly House will be debuting a “Make a Change, Break the Cycle” prevention and awareness campaign through April. A photo campaign using local children who volunteer at the agency, or who have parents working with the agency in some way volunteered to be photographed to represent children served. The photos were taken by Jessica Barney, and printing was partially supported by the Local Interagency Coordinating Council of Davie County (LICC).
“It’s hard for us as an agency to really put a face on child abuse, because of confidentiality,” Reagan said. “We certainly want to protect the children we serve and their privacy. We would never identify children we work with, so having these kids volunteer to model for us was a great way to add a visual image to represent those 400 children we serve each year.
“We really hope these images will help tell a story and make people realize these kids are more than just a number. These photos represent who we serve, children from babies up to older teens, and they all deserve help.
“This campaign will strive to educate the community on prevention in hopes of making changes and breaking cycles of abuse.”
The campaign offers schools, churches or any business a chance to support the effort with change buckets that can be set out for donations for the agency during April. The Dragonfly House hopes to add to the activities next April with a cycling event to tie it all together. Any school, agency or business interested in supporting the campaign by putting out a bucket in April, or joining the planning committee for the cycling event, should contact The Dragonfly House.
“All the agencies in this kick-off celebration get it,” said Reagan. “Together we can all help put a stop to child abuse. It’s North Carolina law that if you know or suspect abuse of a child you must report it. One of every three children who are abused, grow up to abuse their own children. They need our help. Together, we can make a change and break the cycle,” Reagan said.
The Dragonfly House is a National Children’s Alliance Accredited 501-C-3 non-profit agency serving child abuse victims in Davie, Davidson, Yadkin and surrounding counties.
For more information on the organization or Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit www.thedragonflyhouse.com or contact Sheila Smith at 753-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.