Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center, the region’s leading resource to prevent abuse, protect children and heal families, is rallying the Lowcountry in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April. Studies show that nearly 11,500 children are abused in Charleston and Berkeley counties each year. This puts them at risk for a host of negative physical and emotional outcomes.
“Our goal this April, and throughout the entire year, is to educate the community on child abuse prevention and to increase awareness of the healing services and resources available to victims and their families,” says Dr. Carole Swiecicki, executive director and CEO of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. “When we invest in healthy child development, we are investing in community and economic development. Unfortunately, children are sometimes exposed to extreme and sustained stress like child abuse and neglect, which can undermine a child’s development.”
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, most adults across the country believe that child abuse and neglect is a preventable problem, but most don’t know how they can help. From donating time or money to organizations that support children and families, to volunteering and mentoring, to helping babysit for an overburdened family – activities that support the overall wellbeing of families and communities contribute to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Anyone can help make great childhoods happen by mentoring, advocating or donating today.
Charleston and Mt. Pleasant to become Pinwheel Cities
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie will declare their respective jurisdictions as Pinwheel Cities at press conferences in April. The cities signed on with the Children’s Trust of SC in support of its efforts to raise awareness for child abuse prevention across our state.
Town of Mount Pleasant press conference:
• Monday, April 9, 2018
• 10:00 am
• Mount Pleasant Town Hall, 100 Ann Edwards Lane
City of Charleston press conference:
• Thursday April 19
• 3:30 pm
• Colonial Lake, 46-54 Ashley Avenue
The pinwheel has come to serve as the national symbol of child abuse prevention. Throughout April, planting pinwheel gardens in honor of children in communities nationwide demonstrates how everyone can support great childhoods.
Wear Blue Day
On Friday, April 6, individuals and organizations across the U.S. will bond together to make a visible commitment to preventing child abuse by wearing blue. Those participating should take a picture and share it on social media using the #WearBlue hashtag.
The Center will also be raising awareness about the issue of child abuse through hosting family-friendly events during the month of April.
“These events are part of a national campaign to make a positive impact on the future by preventing child abuse and neglect today,” says Beverly Hutchison, director of development and marketing at the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. “The best way to increase that impact is by involving the public in our work, and that’s why we will be holding a number of events for the community during April.”
Movie Night at MUSC Health Stadium is a free, family-friendly event including a photo booth, face painting, a balloon artist, food trucks, arts and crafts activities for children, information for parents and much more. This year’s feature film, The Lion King, begins at 7:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
• Friday, April 27
• 6:30 pm
• MUSC Health Stadium, 1990 Daniel Island Drive
Learn more about child abuse prevention initiatives happening in the Lowcountry and meet the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center team during April at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market (April 10) and Charleston Farmers Market (April 14).
About Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center
The Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center is the region’s leading resource to prevent abuse, protect children and heal families. Primary services include forensic interviews, medical examinations and mental health assessments as well as immediate support and coordination. The center also provides evidence-based therapy to child victims and their families. For more information, visit www.deenortoncenter.org.