The South Arkansas Children’s Coalition will mark the month with events and exhibits

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the South Arkansas Children’s Coalition (SACC) plans to take this opportunity to increase efforts to educate and raise awareness about the signs of child abuse and what to do when they do. are discovered.

SACC, a nonprofit serving Southeastern Arkansas counties, is an organization that oversees the Southern 13th Judicial District’s CASA program as well as the Southern Arkansas Children’s Advocacy Center.

SACC executive director Robin Krneta said the organization started the month with awareness displays around the city, including blue ribbons and pinwheel gardens placed in visible locations, such as outdoors. of the Union County Courthouse.

Blue ribbons were hung from lamp posts throughout downtown El Dorado early last week. The blue ribbons are originally a symbol of child abuse awareness with Bonnie W. Finnie, a grandmother from Virginia, tied a ribbon to the antenna of her van after visiting her grandson abused in the hospital, Krneta said.

SACC is also offering education through social media this month, including in a new “Myth Mondays” series, where myths about child abuse are shared and debunked on the nonprofit organization’s Facebook page. non-profit.

A recent example from Monday April 4th is the myth that children are more likely to be abused by a stranger and the fact that children are more likely to be abused by someone they know and in whom they have trust.

The organization will also hold several public events throughout the month.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, open house and tour will be held at the SACC facility located at 1838 Morning Star Rd. in El Dorado today from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

A first ribbon cutting was delayed when the building opened two years ago, Krneta said, so the group is taking the opportunity to showcase its facilities to the community.

“We will do tours, we will have information on how to become a volunteer and we will show the process children go through when they come to the center, Krneta said.

On Monday, April 18, beginning at 4 p.m., SACC will host a Stewards of Children training program at the El Dorado-Union County Chamber of Commerce.

” Stewards of Children is for youth-serving organizations…and teaching them what to do if abuse is discovered or disclosed. This is great for youth-serving organizations like churches; we want to really let the churches and the faith community know so they can handle things properly,” Krneta said.

The program is free and open to the public, Krneta continued, but attendees should contact the SACC and reserve their spot in advance as space is limited.

A candlelight vigil for victims of child abuse will be held outside the Union County Courthouse on Tuesday, April 19 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The final event will be “Blue Sunday”, a national event in which religious organizations are invited to join in prayer or moments of silence for child victims of neglect or abuse, to be held on April 24. .

“We ask churches of all denominations and religions to take a moment of silence and prayer for child victims of abuse as well as those who work with these children on the front lines,” Krneta said.

SACC provides event materials and information to local churches. Additional reminders and information will also be posted by SACC on social media later this month.

“I really want to emphasize to people that we have to do this for our children – it’s important. We have to do everything we can to keep them safe and protected. As responsible members of the community, we have to do everything our best to know what to look for, how to respond and what action to take,” Krneta said.

More information about SACC and its upcoming events can be found at facebook.com/13thSouthCasa.


The Southern Arkansas Children’s Coalition helps raise awareness during National Child Abuse Prevention Month with displays such as this pinwheel garden and a sign outside of the Union County Courthouse. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)




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The Southern Arkansas Children’s Coalition helps raise awareness during National Child Abuse Prevention Month with displays such as this pinwheel garden and a sign outside of the Union County Courthouse. (Matt Hutcheson/News-Times)



Child Abuse Prevention Month Events

SACC Open House and Ribbon Cutting: April 11, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 1838 Morning Star Road

Stewards of Children Training: April 18, 4 p.m., El Dorado County-Union Chamber of Commerce

Candlelight vigil: April 19, 7:30 p.m., Union County Courthouse

Blue Sunday: April 24, details to come

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