Volunteers go door to door to spread awareness about child abuse
Chattanooga's Children's Advocacy Center partnered with local law enforcement on Saturday for its first annual "Talk About" event.
It was a part of an effort to start a conversation about child abuse, an issue that affects children in every city and every neighborhood across the country including right here in Chattanooga.
"We serve anywhere from 600 and 800 kids annually who are victims of child sexual abuse," Executive Director Kristen Pavlik McCallie told Channel 3.
Executive Director Kristen Pavlik McCallie says the abuse of children often continues because it goes unreported.
"If we create a community where the 'norm' is to report, then it'll give the adults the feeling that they should because child abuse is an adult problem. We say that all the time," she explained. That's why for the first time, she and dozens of other neighborhood volunteers spent this morning going door to door.
"We really wanted to start with our own neighborhood here at the FJC and canvass so that our neighbors know who we are, what we do and if they need help and services, that we're available for help," she said.
People who volunteered knocked on doors with hopes of sharing important information about child abuse like signs to look for and how they can help prevent it.
"We're just hoping to just get information out into the community and the hope is when we talk about intervention with child abuse, early intervention is key," McCallie added.
She says the event is the first of many to come to protect Chattanooga's children from abuse.
"People when we do trainings say, 'it's a big risk to report', but really the bigger risk is a kid who is unsafe," she said.
McCallie says all Tennessee residents are mandated reporters--meaning legally you're obligated to report abuse if you see it.
You can either call 1-877-54-ABUSE or 1-877-237-0004. You will remain anonymous.