Created: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 05:47:00 EST
Updated: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:34:32 EST
More than 3-million American children are reported abused or neglected every year. Community professionals, including law enforcement, medical personnel and counselors are gathering today to talk about how we're putting an end to child abuse and neglect here in our own community.
It is all part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month at the Peyton Anderson Health Education Center. Professionals and experts on child abuse prevention gather to educate the community on the many aspects involved with child abuse cases. Child advocate Stacie LeBlanc visiting from New Orleans presented at the symposium. LeBlanc says, “This is all about preventing the child sexual abuse that could be occurring in homes in Macon right now."
One way Macon-Bibb is dealing with the issue is the Crescent House. It is a one-stop shop for law enforcement, social services and medical personnel to get the stories from abused children.
Crescent House manager, Sandra Sneed, says, "Each time a child has to say that story over again, it's almost like they're being re-traumatized." Sneed continues to explain that the Crescent House provides a safe environment for child abuse victims. There, specially trained professionals conduct effective, consistent, non-threatening interviews and examinations of children who have made abuse allegations.
"We want them in an environment that's safe and they can feel comfortable to hopefully tell their story," Sneed explains.
LeBlanc says the Crescent House is an extremely valuable resource for the community and gives children in need a voice. "Child abuse is never a child's fault, ever. We need to do everything as adults to protect them but also to respond and believe them when they tell," LeBlanc says.
The symposium is sponsored by the Exchange Club of Macon as part of their national awareness for child abuse.