Emily Cole, a founding board member of the Carroll County Child Advocacy Center, updated the club on progress the nonprofit has made in its few short years.
“First of all, thank you for your support as a club,” she said, referring to the last time she spoke to the club in 2013 along Carrollton Police Chief Jeff Richards when they traveled the civic club circuit seeking support for the organization. According to its website, the center “exists to champion the needs of sexually, physically, and emotionally abused children in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties through prevention, intervention and collaboration.”
So far this year, Cole said 182 clients had been interviewed, with 170 being children. She noted the center also serves adults with intellectual disabilities when needed. In August, 18 interviews were conducted, all children, featuring this breakdown: 9 each male and female; 9 age 6 and younger; 15 for sexual abuse cases; 12 interviewed were white. Cole noted the demographic actuality may not fit the community perception of the victims.
Cole also noted that of the 170 cases documented this year, 48 were child-on-child abuses, bringing forth a sad reality.
“In addition to being the perpetrator, these children were also victims,” she said. “They had to learn this behavior from someone else.”
Cole said she is especially proud of the prevention efforts the center provides. Darkness to Light’s “Stewards of Children” curriculum, a two-hour training session, is offered free of charge thanks to the generous supporters of the organization. This training for adults teaches them how to prevent, recognize and appropriately respond to child sexual abuse.
“We are now 80 percent of the way of training 10 percent of the population,” she said.