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Child Abuse Awareness Panel upcoming

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center and Cumberland University will present the second annual Child Abuse Awareness Panel on Oct. 3. 

The panel will be held from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in Labry Hall on the Cumberland University campus.

The event is free to the public and will feature two survivors of severe abuse, MJ Lucas and Courtney Green, as they share their stories. 

Other members of the panel will be Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink, Sgt. Walker Woods with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, child protective service lead investigator Patrick Cockburn and forensic interviewer Cece Ralston. 

They will discuss their involvement with the CAC and how they work from investigation to prosecution. There will be a question and answer session during the second half of the panel. 

Certificates for two hours of continuing education credits will be available. 

Child sexual abuse affects every socio-economic class and knows no boundaries when it comes to race, ethnicity or gender. Statistics state that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday and 90 percent of children who have been sexually abused never tell. 

Research shows that people who are sexually violated as children are far more likely to experience psychological problems often lasting into adulthood. 

The 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center works to educate the community by offering Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, which is evidence based training. 

The training teaches adults how to respond, react and prevent child sexual abuse. Stewards of Children is a free training that raises awareness of child sexual abuse, increases knowledge, improves attitudes and changes child protective behaviors. 

For more information and to schedule a class, call Nancy Willis or Cece Ralston at 615-449-7975.

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