Prevention of Abuse and Violence toward Children and Youth

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"The Child Advocacy Center is excited to announce local agencies are partnering for the international '19 Days of Activism for the Prevention of Abuse and Violence toward Children and Youth,'" said Sharon De Boer, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Centers in Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

De Boer told WGNS that they are seeing 50 to 60 new cases each month...


The Women's World Summit Foundation is sponsoring the 7th annual "19 Days of Activism for the Prevention of Abuse and Violence toward Children and Youth." This worldwide event happens every year from November 1-19. This is the third year that organizations in Rutherford and Cannon Counties have been partners in this international event. "The theme of the local "19 Days of Activism" is child abuse, child sexual abuse, and drug endangered children," said Keylon Holloway, Child Advocacy Center Community Education Coordinator.

The Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit agency that serves victims of child abuse, child sexual abuse, and drug endangered children. The Center works as a multi-disciplinary team with the Department of Children's Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's Office to respond to child abuse cases. The Department of Children's Services protects children, law enforcement arrests perpetrators, the District Attorney's Office aggressively prosecutes offenders, while the Child Advocacy Center helps children and families heal from the trauma of the abuse.


In 2012, the Child Advocacy Center, in collaboration with the Tennessee Children's Advocacy Centers, began implementing a new nationwide initiative "Darkness to Light." Through this program, the Center trains parents, grandparents, and professionals how to protect children from child sexual abuse and what to do if a child reports abuse to them. The Center set a goal to train 10,500 adults in Rutherford and Cannon Counties, which represents 5% of the adult population of both counties. To date, over one million adults have been trained worldwide and 8,500 parents, grandparents, and professionals have been trained in Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

During the 19 Days of Activism, the Child Advocacy Center and their community partners have two goals. The first goal is that the organizations that serve child abuse victims will be sponsoring 19 press releases every day for 19 days to educate our community about child abuse and the resources that are available to assist children and families.

The 19 Partner Agencies are:

  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Child Advocacy Center
  • City Church
  • Department of Children's Services
  • Domestic Violence Program
  • Exchange Club Family Center
  • The Guidance Center
  • Kymari House
  • La Vergne Police Department
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Murfreesboro Police Department
  • Prevention Coalition for Success
  • R Kids R Small Wonders Child Care
  • Rutherford County Schools
  • Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
  • Smyrna Police Department
  • United Way

The second goal is that the Child Advocacy Center will be hosting Darkness to Light trainings to educate parents and grandparents how to protect children from child sexual abuse. Please contact the Child Advocacy Center if you would like to bring a Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention training to your business, civic group, church, school, PTO, or sports league. In Rutherford County, contact Keylon Holloway at (615) 867-9000. In Cannon County, contact Cassell Davis at (615) 563-9915.

Watch for more information in the next 19 days from organizations in our community that provide critically needed services to child abuse victims.

For more information on the 19 Days of Activism visit the Women's World Summit Foundation website at

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