Campaigns focused on education and prevention alongside events
One month: Two issues: Lots of events and awareness-raising activities! The Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault launches Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM) and Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaigns in April to raise awareness of these issues, educate the community and, hopefully reduce these incidents in the future. Various events and activities are planned throughout the month that will draw public attention to the traumatic experiences that surround us.
Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM)
Theme: IT’S YOUR BUSINESS
Some people seem to look away, as if it doesn’t exist or doesn’t affect them. Some just don’t want to get involved. Some might not realize that what they are seeing is actually child abuse. Make it your duty to recognize this problem and take action. It’s up to adults to protect children, and 5 children in the United States are affected by abuse and neglect every day. There have been more than 60,000 entries into child protective services in South Carolina between 2020 and 2021. A report of child abuse is made in the United States every 10 seconds and could be considered a public health crisis. The pandemic has made the situation worse.
Generally, child abuse can take four common forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Child abuse and neglect is a serious public health problem, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have a long-lasting impact term on health and well-being. This issue includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caregiver, or other custodial person (such as a religious leader, coach, teacher) that results in harm, potential harm or threat of harm to a child”. Children can also be abused by a stranger or someone they know in the community – for example, a neighbour.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)
Theme: No exceptions, no excuses!
No one has the right to sexually assault someone. No means no! And whether you’re a woman – or a man – nothing justifies sexual misconduct towards you or on your part. Every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. 1 in 10 rape victims are male. Ages 12 to 34 are the years most at risk for rape and sexual assault. Alarming? Yes. This is why raising awareness is so important.
According to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), “Sexual assault is any type of forced or coerced sexual contact or behavior that occurs without consent. Sexual assault includes rape and attempted rape, child sexual abuse, touching, forced kissing, and sexual harassment or threats.
Sexual assault and child abuse are serious community issues – often hidden and Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month are a time to encourage people to actively address these issues through our businesses, churches, community groups, families and neighborhoods. Together we can reduce their occurrence.
How you can help
• Learn more about each issue:
– Child abuse: www.peedeecoalition.org, www.nationalchildrensalliance.org, www.preventchildabuse.org, www.scchildren.org
– Sexual assault: www.peedeecoalition.org, www.sccadvasa.org, www.nsvrc.org, www.rainn.org
• Recognize the signs of child abuse and sexual assault and if you see something, say something.
• Get involved in awareness programs, resources and activities that offer help.
• Support organizations like the Pee Dee Coalition by volunteering and/or donating your finances, in-kind contributions, resources and donated goods.
• Get the help YOU need if you are a victim or an aggressor.
Events and activities galore!
Throughout April, the Pee Dee Coalition and the Durant Children’s Center will host events and activities to raise awareness, reach out to victims, and demonstrate how the community can help and get involved. Nearly 50 are planned! Check out the list of activities in the eight Pee Dee counties served by PDC (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Marion, Marlboro, Williamsburg and Sumter (Durant Children’s Center only)) on the Pee Dee Coalition website at address www.peedeecoalition.org. Community members and businesses are encouraged to display pinwheels to show their support for the prevention of child abuse or to wear/display a teal ribbon to signify their support for local efforts to end sexual assault.
Pee Dee Coalition invites you to learn more, make it your case when it comes to child abuse, and don’t settle for any excuses or exceptions for sexual assault. Together we can change things!
Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault is a member of United Way.