by BRITTANY HALL
While every season is a new opportunity to build sturdy foundations for children, April is Child Abuse Prevention Month – an annual observance in the United States dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse.
This past Wednesday, April 27, the employees of The Sunshine House Children’s Advocacy Center, along with their golden retriever mascot pup, Shine, hosted a Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention event on the square in Downtown Swainsboro to promote the social and emotional well-being of all Emanuel County’s children and their families. Also in attendance to spread prevention awareness were Emanuel County DFCS and CASA. During the event, informational packets that included healthy sleep habits and milestones for development were handed out to attendees as well as toys, pinwheels, magnets, candy and bags for the kids.
“Since April is Child Abuse Prevention month, we strive to get out into the community and spread awareness about child abuse and neglect. It is important for our community to work together on preventing this abuse and it is equally important that they are aware that this happens right here in our own neighborhoods. “I think Helen Keller said it best when she said, ‘Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” Brandi Hood, family and medical advocate of The Sunshine House spoke on the importance of acknowledging signs of cruelty and mistreatment in children.
In 2021, 72 cases of abuse and neglect were reported to authorities and many children were saved from volatile homes and situations because of the community’s involvement. “We are grateful to our community partners who help us in bringing awareness of and prevention of child abuse. The Sunshine House Children’s Advocacy Center has a vision to have a community where all children are safe,” Executive Director of the Sunshine House, Carol Donaldson graciously said.
Though April is a time to reflect and understand child abuse, the unfortunate truth is that abusive homes don’t present themselves by seasons, they are constant in the lives that they affect. By taking time to recognize the symptoms and signs of abuse, you’re contributing to prepare Emanuel County’s children to grow up to be healthy thriving members of our community.
The prosperity of Emanuel County depends on your service to protect the innocent members of our society for years to come, so always be vigilant. If you would like to learn more about symptoms and signs of abuse in children or know a victim of abuse, please contact The Sunshine House for more information or for help with filing a report.
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