BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Board of Commissioners marked April as Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month by signing two proclamations to help bring public consciousness to these very serious causes.
The first proclamation to be signed was presented by Fannin County’s Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).
April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention month since 1984, when then President Ronald Reagan first nationally recognized the need to bring public awareness to this issue.
By signing Proclamation 5172, Reagan officially acknowledged the first Child Abuse Prevention month. Reagan’s Proclamation states “Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of April 1984, as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. We must find a way to leave our future generations a priceless legacy — the confidence and trust resulting from a secure childhood.”
DFCS Advocacy and Training Manager Gina Bennett spoke of the need of this awareness in our area, “Last year there were 63 children that entered foster care in Fannin County due to abuse.”
During the month of April communities are encouraged to provide education, support, and awareness through resources and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect.
The second proclamation to be signed was presented by the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN) to make April Sexual Assualt Awareness Month.
A movement that started in the 1970s with activists forming organizations to address the issue of sexual assault, the month of April was not nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness month until 2001.
NGMCN Interim Executive Director Elaine Cannon spoke of the hopes in having this proclamation signed: “To make individuals in the county and in all of our communities aware of what a problem sexual assault is. In not just our county, but all counties.”
Cannon spoke of the stigma that victims of sexual assault still face today, and that that stigma is often the cause of victims not coming forward.
“What we want to do is encourage education in the communities, and bring this to the forefront,” Cannon said explaining NGMCN’s mission, “that people can be aware that there is a place victims can go, and that we can provide them with services that would help their victimization be a little less traumatic.”
If you are a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence you are encouraged to reach out to North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network. You can reach them by phone at 706-632-8400.
Similarly, if you are a victim of child abuse or know of a child currently in an abusive situation, the Department of Family and Children’s Services asks you to please reach out. You can call Fannin County DFCS at 706-632-2296 or report incidents of abuse to the local Fannin County Sheriff’s Office 706-632-2044.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com