Preventing child abuse in Polk County

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Friday, a local group raised awareness about the problem that is in every community.

The Polk County Community Fatality Prevention and Protection Team invited people to walk at Stearns Gym to raise awareness.

The goal is to stop child abuse before it happens, or continues.

Mary Edwards of the nonprofit “Be A Voice 4 Kids” says events like this are important to show that people in the community are willing to help, to talk, and to give support.

“If we don’t start to do something then it just stays a problem and the problem gets worse,” Edwards explained.

For more info on Be A Voice 4 Kids, click here.

Edwards is raising support for a Child Advocacy Center in Polk County. She says there are also classes in April to teach people the five steps of preventing child abuse. For more information, call 828-817-4267.

Michael Crater, Director of Polk County’s Emergency Medical Services, sees the problem first-hand and stresses prevention.

“We would just really like to get ahead of that game to where that people recognize signs and symptoms. People do something when a child comes and talks to you,” Crater explained.

EMS will be hosting a Child Safety Day on April 28 in the Bi-Lo parking lot in Columbus.

For more on the issue and the signs, click here.

Preventing Child Abuse Walk


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