Child Advocacy Center works to prevent abuse

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"In calendar year 2014, the Child Protective Investigative Team has investigated 12 children's deaths and it was determined that 3 of those deaths were a result of abuse and neglect," announced Ryan Wallace, at the Child Advocacy Center's flag raising ceremony on Nov. 19.

Nov. 19 is recognized internationally as the "World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse." The Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors, staff, and Child Protective Investigative Team members raised the flag to commemorate this day.

"We raise the flag to symbolize all the children in Rutherford and Cannon Counties that have been victims of child abuse this past year. We want to remember the children who were abused and the children whose lives have been lost," said Wallace, Child Advocacy Center Community Education Coordinator.

"Nov. 19 marks the end of the 19 Days of Activism for the Prevention of Violence Against Children and Youth," said Child Advocacy Center director Sharon De Boer. "19 local agencies partnered for the "19 Days of Activism. The partner agencies were: CADCOR, Camelot Care, CASA, Centerstone, Dept. of Children's Services, Domestic Violence Program, Exchange Club Family Center, Guidance Center, Kids on the Block, Kymari House, La Vergne Police Department, Murfreesboro City Schools, Murfreesboro Police Dept., Our Kids Center, Rutherford County Schools, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, Smyrna Police Dept., Solutions Education Center, and the Child Advocacy Center."
"Every child deserves to live a life free from violence and abuse," said De Boer. "Each of the partner agencies participated in a media campaign to educate the public on the work they do to eradicate child abuse in our community. Our goal was to let families know that there is help in our community for children and families that need help."

During the 19 Days of Activism, the Child Advocacy Center and their community partners had two goals. The first goal was that the organizations that serve child abuse victims sponsored 19 press releases every day for 19 days to educate our community about child abuse, the impact of substance abuse on children and youth, and the resources that are available to assist children and families.

The second goal was that the Child Advocacy Center sponsored "Darkness to Light" trainings to educate parents and grandparents how to protect children from child sexual abuse. In 2012, the Child Advocacy Center began a new initiative called "Darkness to Light." Since then, over 4,000 parents, grandparents, and professionals have been trained how to protect children from child sexual abuse and what to do if their child reports abuse to them.
Wallace stated, "Call the Child Advocacy Center today and sign up for a training. We want to train you so that no child you love ever experiences the horrors of child sexual abuse."

Please contact the Child Advocacy Center if you would like to bring a "Darkness to Light" child sexual abuse prevention training to your business, civic group, church, school, PTO, or sports league. In Rutherford County, contact Ryan Wallace at 615-867-9000. In Cannon County, contact Amanda Pruitt at 615-563-9915.

For more information on the "19 Days of Activism" and the "World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse" visit the Women's World Summit Foundation website at

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