Dothan, AL - In almost two decades the child advocacy center has helped more than 12,000 victims of child abuse. But many children continue to suffer in silence. Now leaders are taking their message to the classroom.
These students are taking a break from reading lessons and focusing on something more serious.
Grace Vaughn works for the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center. She’s teaching an important lesson to every Faine Elementary student.
“We just approach it in a very straightforward manner. We tell them that we’re talking about abuse. If anyone touches their private parts or asks someone else to touch their private parts, that’s abuse. That it’s wrong. They need to tell an adult they trust so they can stop the abuse,” said Vaughn.
Last year the center interviewed more than 300 children and leaders hope the lessons being taught behind classroom doors will change that.
“I’m always amazed. We do a question and answer session before and after. They always seem to be interested. They always answer the questions. I feel like they’re really learning a lot,” she said.
The message does seem to be sinking in with 10-year-old Reggie Sewell.
“It’s important because kids that are being abused should tell someone to get the person that’s abusing them help. If an adult doesn’t listen keep on telling until something happens,” said Sewell.
Vaughn said it is important to discuss body safety and what abuse is with your kids at home, but don’t make a big deal over it. Just talk about it like you would anything else.