By Dawndy Mercer Plank

WIS 10

Children's Trust's Bett Williams speaks on WIS TV during a live interview

Children’s Trust’s Bett Williams shares the best ways people can help prevent child abuse and neglect during a live interview with WIS 10-TV on April 19, 2022.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – You have a chance to be a champion for children. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in our state.

It’s a time for organizations, governmental agencies, businesses, faith-based groups, and individuals to raise awareness about the need to help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Bett Williams is the chief communications officer for Children’s Trust of South Carolina and Emily Medere is the chief deputy director of agency development and innovation with the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

They joined Dawndy Mercer Plank on Soda City Live to talk about the need for more people to get involved.

Children’s Trust is leading this year’s statewide campaign, partnering with more than 150 organizations and agencies. This year’s theme is “Be a Champion for Children.”

It’s a catchy motto that is indicative of how the state wants people to be a child’s champion. Child neglect and abuse are not subjects we like to talk about.

It’s easy to want to put our heads in the sand. Organizations are trying to emphasize that the problem is real in South Carolina.

In fact, research shows that adversity in a child’s life can have long-lasting negative health and social effects into adulthood. The percentage of adults in our state who had an adverse childhood experience is well over half.


Experts say the chances of abuse and neglect decrease when children live in families and communities that can meet their physical and emotional needs. When a family can’t do that, there are opportunities for the community to step in.

To learn more about how to participate in Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit the website.