Advocacy centers raising awareness for child abuse prevention

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 5:06 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Foothills Child Advocacy Center is uniting groups from all over Virginia to try to collectively heal child abuse.

The Freedom of Speech Wall on the Downtown Mall became an ideal canvas to help spread some important messages Friday, April 1.

“This is happening in our community and in every community,” Janice Dinkins-Davidson with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia said.

She says more than 30,000 cases of child abuse are reported in the commonwealth each year.

“There are people out here really working hard to take care of these kids,” Dinkins-Davidson said.

Eight advocacy centers came together for Friday’s event at the chalk wall.

“These are quotes from either children or caregivers who have had services at the various CAACs in Virginia,” said Dinkins-Davidson pointing to the wall.

These centers are where law enforcement, protective services, mental health clinicians, medical professionals, and victim advocates all work together to help children heal.

“They do this every day. They protect children from child abuse, they listen to their voices, they hear their experiences,” Dinkins-Davidson said.

Friday was the first time these groups have gotten together since the coronavirus pandemic began, though it won’t be the last.

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