Child abuse awareness is very close to my heart, as I was a victim of child abuse. 

One of the things I promised myself as a child is that I would do my best to help abused children, as well as caring adults, recognize the signs children being abused might be displaying. I have had many conversations with adults who were upset because they didn’t see the signs. Sometimes family members are too familiar with the family or identify with the family’s circumstances too much to see the abuse. In that case friends, and the community at large, are the ones who may need to step in and be the safety net children need.

“Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina (PCANC)” is the only statewide organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Through investment in innovative programs proven to prevent child maltreatment before it occurs, PCANC helps North Carolina’s communities decrease factors that put children at risk for abuse and increase factors that encourage children to thrive. Through their offices in Raleigh, they serve every community in North Carolina. They are the North Carolina chapter of “Prevent Child Abuse America.”

Prevent Child Abuse NC has free online training sessions to help us prevent child abuse and neglect. One such training offered is the “Recognizing & Responding to Suspicions of Child Maltreatment” course. This course can be accessed on their website at preventchildabusenc.org.

Every year during the month of April, the “Prevent Child Abuse NC” organization raises awareness through special advocacy involvement opportunities.  For example, this month you can plant a pinwheel garden at your home, church, or local business. The pinwheel represents the joyful carefree childhood everyone should have. There is also a “Child Abuse Prevention Month” toolkit with all sorts of pamphlets and talking points that can be accessed at the website. On Friday April 1st, the organization is asking people to wear blue and share photos with #WEARBLUE on them. “Prevent Child Abuse” also has a fundraiser in which North Carolinians can purchase a “Kids First” license plate.  A portion of the sales goes back to community programs across North Carolina. These license plates can be purchased at ncdot.gov.  Many other activities, educational events, and fund raisers are planned throughout the month and can be found on preventchildabusenc.org.

“Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina” will also present a program to your group, at your event, or simply answer questions. Their telephone number is 919-829-8009.

All children should have the opportunity to thrive and live in safety. The success of our families and communities depends on our children. There are so many issues in the world that are out of our control, but child abuse is not one of them. We can eliminate child abuse, and “Prevent Child Abuse NC” can help. For more information, please visit preventchildabusenc.org.


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