For Immediate Release - April 23, 2012

DA Blodgett to Launch Child Abuse Awareness Campaign

In observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Essex Children’s Advocacy Center will introduce the One with Courage campaign on Tuesday, April 24 at 9:00 a.m. at the Essex District Attorney’s Office, 10 Federal Street, Salem, Massachusetts.

The One with Courage campaign is a national initiative that focuses on the courage it takes to talk about child abuse and the important role that Children’s Advocacy Centers play, not only in providing services to child victims of abuse, but also aiding in investigations and prosecution of the perpetrators.  The Essex Children’s Advocacy Center, which is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, local hospitals and law enforcement agencies under the leadership of the Essex District Attorney’s Office, is one of the first CACs in Massachusetts to roll out the national campaign.

“When a child is abused, their trust has been violated by the person or persons who are supposed to protect them.  This makes it extremely frightening for them to disclose the abuse,” District Attorney Blodgett said.  “The One With Courage campaign seeks to educate the community about the signs of abuse so that we can report abuse and protect these vulnerable children.” 

In 2011 the Essex Children’s Advocacy Center received over 700 referrals of child abuse; 582 were allegations of sexual abuse, 123 allegations of serious physical abuse and 76 allegations of neglect resulting in serious bodily injury.

District Attorney Blodgett; Dr. Ed Bailey, MassGeneral for Children at the North Shore Medical Center; and Ray Pillidge, Northeast Regional Director for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families will sign a memorandum of understanding to continue their longstanding commitment to prevent, investigate, and prosecute child abuse as well as to provide services to child victims of abuse.

 

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