Child Abuse Prevention Month took its turn in the spotlight at the State House during an April 10 press conference for the seventh annual Children’s Advocacy Center Day.
The S.C. Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, the Attorney General’s office, Children’s Trust, and Silent Tears once again reached out to legislators, agencies, organizations, communities and individuals on the need to take action against child abuse and neglect through prevention, policy, treatment and prosecution.
Children’s Trust board member Steven Moon, a Columbia attorney who represents the 6th Congressional District on the board, spoke of how everyone must come together to address this public health crisis, which saw 17,662 South Carolina children in founded cases of maltreatment last year.
“We use April as a focused time to acknowledge the importance of working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to draw attention to the effective solution of prevention,” Moon said. “It is the time when we, as a community of leaders, focus on the many things we can do to support healthy children and stronger families. Because when we work together and do what is good for kids and their families, South Carolina is stronger – today and into the future.”
Moon identified prevention programs as the crucial component in keeping abuse and neglect from occurring. Children’s Trust implements programs with partner organizations across the state that provide home visiting services to young mothers and their infants as well as those that strengthen families and promote positive parenting.
“Prevention is the best investment,” Moon said. “We all know that working upstream is the most cost-effective and efficient way to address abuse.”
Many assembled in the crowd at the State House held pinwheels, the national symbol for happy, healthy childhoods. Children’s Trust, the state affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America, distributed 25,000 pinwheels in South Carolina for April activities held by local community organizations.