Charleston, S.C. – Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center, the region’s leading resource to prevent abuse, protect children and heal families, is rallying the Lowcountry in support of National Child Abuse Prevention Month this April. National estimates indicate that nearly 11,500 children are abused in Charleston and Berkeley counties each year, putting them at risk for a host of adverse physical and emotional outcomes.
Dee Norton is hosting many initiatives and events throughout the month to increase awareness of child abuse prevention resources, including movie nights at Freshfields Village, community conversations across the region, and national Wear Blue Day. The nonprofit also encourages all community members to complete an online pledge and join in its efforts to prevent child abuse.
“Our goal this April, and throughout the entire year, is to educate the community on child abuse prevention and to increase awareness of the protection and healing services available to victims and their families,” says Dr. Carole Swiecicki, Executive Director of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. “The past year we added telehealth services, which helped us provide continuity in services throughout the pandemic and make a deeper investment into healthy child development and the community.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Dee Norton after a year of expanding its prevention efforts. With the hiring of its first-ever Prevention Program Coordinator, Dee Norton has expanded its work with Charleston County School District by creating a training manual for the district’s prevention curriculum required by law in South Carolina.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, most adults across the country believe that child abuse and neglect are preventable problems, but most don’t know how they can help. From donating time or money to organizations that support children and families to volunteering and mentoring—activities that support the overall wellbeing of families and communities contribute to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston Designated as Pinwheel Cities
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey will declare their respective jurisdictions as Pinwheel Cities this April. The cities signed on with the Children’s Trust of SC in support of its efforts to raise awareness for child abuse prevention across our state.
The pinwheel has come to serve as the national symbol of child abuse prevention. Throughout April, planting pinwheel gardens in honor of children in communities nationwide demonstrates how everyone can support great childhoods.
Sign the pledge to help prevent child abuse at bit.ly/deenortonpledge and view the complete list of events and community engagements at bit.ly/april2021events-deenorton.