CAC kicks off awareness month

Published 7:26 pm Monday, April 4, 2011

The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month with a special ceremony at the Pike County Courthouse Monday afternoon.

The ceremony was planned as a proclamation, tree lighting and candlelight ceremony but high winds prevented the lighting of candles. However, the “Blue Trees” were burning brightly at dusk as a reminder of the thousands of children who are the victims of abuse and neglect.

Mayors Jimmy Lunsford, Troy; Jimmy Ramage, Brundidge; and Jack Waller, Goshen, signed a proclamation designating April Child Abuse Prevention Month in their communities.

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“Preventing child abuse and neglect is a community problem that depends on the involvement among people in the community,” Lunsford said. “The majority of child abuse cases stem from situations and conditions that are preventable in an engaged and supportive community.

“Child abuse and neglect can be reduced by making sure each family has the support they need to raise their children in a healthy environment. Child abuse not only directly harms children but also increases the likelihood of criminal behavior, substance abuse, health problems and risky behavior.”

The mayors encouraged all citizens to become involved in supporting families in raising their children in a safe, nurturing environment.

Scherryl Harrison, CAC board member, encouraged the community to open its collective heart and do all that can be done to prevent child abuse.

“There is a strong correlation between child abuse and the ills of society,” she said. “The one main thing that causes trauma in children is neglect and the lack of love and caring.

“I know it’s a cliché but we must take care of our children so they can take care of society. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to demonstrate love. They are all God’s children. We must show them. Not tell.”

The program closed with the singing of “Dear Mr. Jesus” by Anna Grace Meredith, Sydney Watson and Emily Walker and the holding of hands to show unity in the communitywide commitment to stop the hurting by preventing child abuse.