By Taylor Powell, Correspondent
On the afternoon of July 20, Aware Central Texas held a Christmas in July Event at the Harris Community Center. Christmas in July began at 1 p.m. with the education portion of the event and it continued at 5 p.m. with an eventful dinner and auction. Aware Central Texas in an organization that aids in the prevention of child abuse and family violence through education, case studies, and management referrals to high-risk populations. This organization has the Christmas in July event to bring the counselors, therapist, and the probation officers of the Belton community together to show support. Harriet Brodie, a member of Aware Central Texas, shows full support for giving back to the practitioners of the community.
“They will get some new information hopefully when they come to the training,” said Brodie.
Christine Simon, a psychology professor at temple college, was an attendee of at this event. Simon has been in her field since 2003 and she attended the event to give her full support to aware central Texas.
“I attended the event to show my support and possibly receive new information,” said Simon.
The continuing education portion of the event were presentations given by the Texas Advocacy Project and Starry Counseling. The Texas Advocacy Project focuses on a community response between military and civilians to end partner violence and sexual assault. Starry counseling focuses on the effects of family violence. Amanda Elkanik was the representative speaker for the Texas Advocacy Project. Elkanik’s presentation focused on the in depth works the organization does for the community. Elkanik proceeds to give educational information about sexual violence through statistics throughout the course of the presentation.
“Sexual violence is any sexual contact that is unwanted and this can include many things such as raps, intimidation, sexual threats. Many of our survivors did not know that they were being sexually abused at first. Also, many of our survivors still suffer from that abuse years later due to the trauma that they experienced,” said Elkanik.
Elkanik also gave more information about how the Texas Advocacy Project has a safety plan for each of the survivors that the organization encounters. The event was filled with much information and support. The auction that was Aware Central Texas held at the event was meant for a better cause as well. The objects presented at the auction were cutlery, guitar, wine baskets, and makeup.
“We thought we would bring support from others that support what we do and that would bring a natural audience for the auction,” said Brodie.
Over $8,000 was raised at the dinner auction.
Christmas in July was an event meant to bring a part of the community together in order to educate and support. The information given is for those to continue making a difference for those who are possibly forced to become silent.
For more information about Aware central Texas please contact (254) 939-7582