Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center Is Raising Child Abuse Awareness
Every year, more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children. The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention month.
The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center is raising awareness about the impact child abuse has in the area.
The awareness includes pinwheels that popping up around Troy. Each one represents a symbol for a child abuse victim.
“We put those out every April to recognize children as having a happy, hopeful, well-rounded future,” Executive Director of the Pike Regional CAC Camille Downing says.
She says they see sexual and physical abuse cases and neglect regularly and she encourages anyone who witnesses such cases to come forward.
“I don’t care how minimal or small, if you feel like something is wrong, please report,” Downing says. “It can be anonymous, you don’t have to leave your name.”
Downing says the reasoning is simple. She says children do not always have a voice and they need an advocate on their side.
“Just think about if you went to sleep that night, and you woke up the next day, that child is no longer with us, how would you feel then?” Downing says. “So I just always tell people ‘report, report, report’ and let the authorities figure out, you know, the end cause of it.”
The Pike Regional CAC also points out that there is a difference in abuse and discipline.
“Anything excessive,” Downing says. “If you’re leaving marks or bruises, or your child is going to school with a black eye, thats excessive.”
Downing says she hopes someday, child abuse cases will be a thing of the past. For now, the advocacy center will do everything it can to raise awareness for child abuse.
“We may have four cases a day, we may have six case a day, somedays we may not have any, and that is our hope that someday, you may not need the center. ”
Reporting abuse cases can be done completely anonymously..
“Somebody might say “I don’t want to get into their business’ or thats their private home’, but think about if that was your child, your niece, your nephew, your god-daughter, your god-son.”
For now, the pinwheels will keep spinning to raise awareness for child abuse victims..
The PRCAC manages Pike, Coffee, Barber, and bullock counties. To report child abuse and neglect, you can reach them at 670-0487.