April marks an important time to call attention to the issue of child abuse
Throughout the month of April, the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Benton County is joining National Children’s Alliance and its thousands of members and supporters across the country to bring much needed attention to the issues of child abuse intervention and prevention. The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County will kick-off its April events by hosting the annual Pinwheels for Prevention Rally on April 1st and the 14th annual Cherishing Children Glow Run on April 18 in downtown Rogers. Visit www.cacbentonco.com or call 479-621-0385 for additional information.
In 2013, the CAC opened 646 cases of suspected child abuse; conducted 625 forensic interviews; performed 149 forensic medical exams, provided 1,513 counseling sessions to children and their families (43% increase) and facilitated 38 training and education events to 1,300 people. Besides these initial services, over 75 children a week came to the CAC for counseling, totaling over 100 children a week who entered our doors for services, along with their families and siblings.
As an active member of this community dedicated to helping children, the CAC of Benton County is conducting a number of activities to recognize the importance of raising awareness and community education surrounding the subject of child abuse. Please join us at the following events:
Pinwheels for Prevention Rally – April 1
The Rally is a campaign to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month at Dave Peel Park in Bentonville at 11:30 a.m. for a hotdog lunch. The program begins at 12:00 p.m. with Judge Clinard proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month followed by the presentation of Shining Star awards, an award acknowledging local law enforcement for their role in child abuse prevention. Van Stone will be the guest speaker with the First Baptist Church Christian School Choir closing the program with a special song. At 1:00 pm, attendees will proceed to the Rogers Police Department to place pinwheels onsite representing each confirmed case of child abuse in Benton County in 2013. We will then travel to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office; Bentonville Police Department; Bella Vista Police Department, Pea Ridge Police Department and finally Little Flock Police Department. Everyone is encouraged to wear blue to show support for the cause.
Glow Run – April 18
Come join the 14th Annual Cherishing Children Glow Run 5k and 1-Mile Fun Walk. This glow-themed run is a family-friendly event that raises awareness to empower children to find their voice and speak up against abuse. Together we are giving children back their childhood by shining the light on child abuse! This year’s event features a 1-Mile Fun Walk, a 400-Yard Super Hero Dash, and a chip-timed 5K Glow Run beginning at the Frisco Stage in Downtown Rogers. The night-time events feature an explosion of glow-in-the-dark elements, food/snacks on sale from local vendors, inflatables and activities for all ages, and runner prizes. Register online at www.cacbentonco.com
Pinwheels in Your Neighborhood –throughout April
The Pinwheel has been adopted by Children Advocacy Centers to represent a child’s innocence. During the month of April, pinwheels will be placed at local businesses, police departments, and homes throughout Benton County. Contact the CAC at 479-621-0385 to learn how you can get involved with this initiative.
“This national awareness month provides a platform to openly discuss the prevalence of child abuse and gives the community an opportunity to get involved. It’s a team effort, and together we are working to eliminate child abuse,” says Beverly Engle, CAC Executive Director.
For more information on how to get involved in National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the CAC of Benton County, please visit www.cacbentonco.com or call 479-621-0385.