Child abuse prevention effort kicks off

Published 9:51 am Thursday, March 31, 2016

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 at the Square in Downtown Mocksville at noon.

The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center, Davie County Department of Social Services, Davie Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Center, District 22b Guardian Ad Litem, Smart Start of Davie County, Davie Family YMCA, and the Davie County Community Child Protection Team/Child Fatality Team are collaborating on the effort to bring awareness to the community on how to prevent child abuse.

“The statistics continue to rise every year,” said Brandi Reagan, executive director for The Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center. “One in four girls, and one in 6 boys will experience sexual abuse before they are 18; and sexual abuse is the third most common type of abuse in the country – with neglect being number 1 and physical abuse being number 2.

“If 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused, then how many more children are being neglected, physically abused or witnessing violence on a daily basis? 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, how to prevent it, and also how to report it.

“We are all striving to help children in Davie County be safe and healthy. All of these agencies work together and have great partnerships for providing services to children. It is an honor for us to all pull together during this month and at this event to kick-off prevention awareness,” Reagan 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 prevention and to honor children.

The children gathered will be participating in a balloon release to honor and remember those abused.

There will be downtown businesses participating. This event is free and open to the public. Wear blue, the color of Child Abuse Prevention Month, to show support.

The Dragonfly House is once again conducting a “Make a Change to Break the Cycle of Abuse” prevention and awareness campaign throughout April.

This campaign asks schools and community members to donate loose change to help break the cycle of abuse, with 100 percent of proceeds going towards The Dragonfly House child abuse mental health treatment program.

“The best way to prevent future abuse once a child has experienced it is to provide them with immediate therapy for as long as they need, free of charge,” Reagan said. “This offers children the best chance for hope and healing to overcome what happened to them and to break the cycle of abuse from continuing – even into their adulthood.

“The financial cost of abuse is overwhelming to our nation, costing nearly $220 million dollars per day. This costs involves investigations, foster care, medical needs, mental health treatment, special education, juvenile and adult crime, chronic health problems, and more. There is no denying that child abuse and neglect affects us all and as a community it is our responsibility to ensure that we address this need at the beginning. By coming together and celebrating the meaning behind this month, we really can ‘Make a Change to Break the Cycle of Abuse’,” she said.

The Dragonfly House is a National Children’s Alliance Accredited non-profit agency serving child abuse victims in Davie, Davidson, Yadkin and surrounding counties.

Visit or contact Reagan at 753-6155 or