CAC kickoff set for Monday

Published 10:38 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center in Troy will kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Pike County Courthouse. The public is invited and encouraged to come and be a part of this special ceremony.

“We usually have the kickoff ceremony for Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Child Advocacy Center on West Orange Street but this year we are going to do things differently in an attempt to raise greater awareness of the continuing abuse of children in our county and area and all across the country,” said Mona Watson, director of the local CAC.

The convenience of the downtown location for the ceremony and the amount of motor and pedestrian traffic in the area will be a daily reminder of the abuse of child and the need for child abuse prevention programs.

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“We are planning a month of events and activities to bring awareness of child abuse to the forefront,” Watson said. “Our kickoff ceremony on Monday will include proclamations by the mayors of our cities and the lighting of our blue ribbon tree.”

During the month of April, the CAC will have blue ribbons and t-shirts for sale to remind people that child abuse affects everyone.

The physical and emotional abuse that children suffer is the most direct and devastating effect of child abuse.

“Although the cost of child abuse is often measured in broken lives, there is also a huge economic cost to Alabamians,” Watson said.

According to a 2010 report prepared by the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research, child abuse costs Alabamians more than $520 million each year.

“But that’s minimal when compared to the cost to young children,” Watson said.

The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center in Troy opened in May 2005. Since that time, the CAC has opened 1,400 child abuse cases.

“It is most important that we keep the child abuse issue before the public,” Watson said. “The best way to stop child abuse is to prevent it before it starts and awareness is the key.”

Watson said everyone is encouraged to help make the 2011 Child Abuse Awareness Month kick off on Monday the biggest ever.

Child Abuse Prevention Blue Ribbons are available at the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center at 118 West Orange Street in Troy or by calling 334-670-0487.