~by Jennifer Bordeaux~
April is here and Spring has sprung! Although we all may be walking around with pollen-induced sniffles, the promise of warm weather, vibrant blooms and Cadbury eggs fills the air with excitement and rejuvenation. It’s time to come out of hibernation, get outside and get involved. A great way to get involved is through a local organization in your community. Don’t know which organization to devote your time? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, April has been proclaimed National Child Abuse Prevention Month since 1983. We often overlook the occurrence and severity of child abuse unless we’ve had a direct connection to it, but in 2015, an estimated 683,000 children were found as victims of neglect, physical and/or sexual abuse in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). This is an issue that we cannot choose to ignore.
There are several organizations that help to combat child abuse and neglect. Local to Wake County in North Carolina is SAFEchild. SAFEchild stands for Stop Abuse For Every child and is committed to eliminating child abuse in Wake County by helping adults and children create nurturing environments free from abuse and neglect. The organization serves over 9,000 families and children, and offers several different programs, including:
- Serving first time mothers
- Several types of parenting programs, including classes for both men and women where there have been instances of domestic violence
- Providing school based education to first grade students in Wake County about protecting themselves from sexual abuse, and more.
However, SAFEchild cannot provide all of these wonderful services without the support and contributions of the community. It costs $1,500 to provide a comprehensive medical exam for one child who has been physically or sexually abused. With over 7,500 cases of child abuse reported in Wake County each year, the need for monetary support is readily apparent. So how can you get involved? I’m so glad you asked!
One of the organization’s biggest community and fundraising events is their Spring Gala. The 2017 SAFEchild Champions for Children Spring Gala is April 22, 2017 at The Fairview in Raleigh, NC. This year’s gala features Olympic Gold Medalist, Kayla Harrison, as the keynote speaker, heavy hors d’oeuvres, complimentary beer and wine, music and dancing, and an auction — all the ingredients to serve up an evening of unforgettable fun. What better way to support a great local cause?! CLICK HERE to find out more information about the gala and other ways to you can get involved with SAFEchild. On behalf of the thousands of children that experience neglect and physical/sexual abuse each year, I ask that you seriously consider supporting SAFEchild and attending the 2017 Champions for Children Spring Gala. Spending one night committed to SAFEchild could mean saving the lives of several children.
Meet the Author: Jennifer Bordeaux
Jen received her Bachelors from Appalachian State University and earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University. Prior to attending a paralegal program, Jen worked with at-risk youth in the secure custody of the North Carolina Division of Juvenile Justice. Following her stint as an adjunct instructor at East Carolina University, Jen completed the NC Paralegal Certificate Program at the University of North Carolina.
Education is power! The more I can help spread awareness about family law and help people understand that they are not alone when going through a separation/custody battle/domestic violence, etc., the better.