Bainbridge brings child abuse prevention to forefront in April

Published 4:16 pm Friday, April 6, 2018

You can commemorate your childhood Tuesday, April 10, at noon during the Child Abuse Prevention Month Pinwheels for Prevention ceremony.

April is child abuse prevention month. During the month, there is always a small celebration held that recognizes the people helping to prevent child abuse. This year the city has partnered with Family Connections to bring light to a prevalent issue in the United States.

As part of their connection, Elizabeth Whaley of Stewards of Children- Darkness to Light, has conducted two training seminars for law enforcement and city officials on how to recognize and respond to child sexual abuse. Whaley knows child sexual abuse can be prevented, when it is recognized. She started conducting seminars in 2013, and her goal is to train 5 percent of the adult population in Decatur County. She has currently trained between 800-900 people and has seen a shift in how adults protect their children from this.  Whaley plans to continue her training on Monday with the merchants at downtown stores and restaurants.

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After the seminar, trainees can continue their education and become a facilitator. Since beginning, Whaley has had Valerie Faircloth and Stacey Jones become a facilitator.

After Monday’s training concludes, the city will host the ceremony on Tuesday in Willis Park. The ceremony will last approximately 15- 20 minutes and feature speakers from DFCS, CASA, the Child Advocacy Center, Darkness to Light and Family Connections.

During this time, attendees can plant a pinwheel to represent the happy childhood they were given. This will serve as a reminder around the city and county that every child deserves a good life and a happy childhood, not just some lucky children.

Whaley looks forward to bringing awareness to this issue on Monday and Tuesday and said she is so thankful the city has joined Family Connections to address this growing problem.