By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal
Thursday morning participants in “Walk for Prevention” poured out of the office of Aware Central Texas and onto Main Street as they proceeded to walk to Yettie Polk Park in an effort to raise awareness and to end the silence of child abuse. Participants were encouraged to wear a blue shirt to show unity for the cause of child abuse prevention. Silence is the hindering factor in child abuse not getting help it needs.
“This was the first of what we hope will be many walks that is meant to be an act of solidarity between agencies such as law enforcement, child welfare agencies and communities to stand against child abuse and family violence.” commented, Harriet H. Brodie Director of Development Aware Central Texas.
Aware Central Texas is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, neglect, and family violence. Their philosophy is: Education is the key to prevention and prevention is the key to diminishing child abuse and domestic violence. Awareness is key to education.
“We had about thirty-one people walk with us for the event.” Brodie said. “And, we will, we will do it again next year.”
The walk started at the Aware Central Texas office (across the street from UMHB), and continued south on Main Street, and headed down towards Central Avenue to Yettie Polk Park. Water bottles and sunscreen was provided for the participants for their comfort and well being.
The Belton Fire Department helped out, by escorting the walk with providing a fire truck that convoyed behind the walkers for their safety as they walked down busy Main Street.
Aware Central Texas has a mission to reduce child abuse and domestic violence in Central Texas. They put forth those effort by creating awareness in Central Texas communities and educating the community about child abuse and domestic violence. In addition, they also provide volunteer family coaches to at-risk families and offering parenting, anger management, and mood/stress management classes. Another segment they touch on is providing anti-bullying sessions at local schools.
Words from Aware Central Texas website had this to say about the “Walk for Prevention”:
Abuse thrives only in silence.
Join us in solidarity to prevent child abuse, neglect, and family violence.
Invite your friends, family, and colleagues as we walk the streets of Belton.
Will you walk with us and proclaim that child abuse will not be tolerated?
Will you walk with us and proclaim that we will do everything in our power as professionals, community leaders, concerned citizens, and as a individuals, to keep on walking each year, on the last day of Child Abuse Prevention Month, until child abuse is no more?
Will you walk with us and commit to work together as one?
“On July 21 we will have our Christmas in July event. We will host continuing education from Brett H. Pritchard, PA and Dr. Kyle Morrow. Each speaker will update lawyers, social workers & licensed professional counselors,” said Brodie. “In the evening will have a bar-be-que and auction.”