Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center held a child abuse prevention training session for the Hispanic community on July 12 at the Coffee County Administrative Plaza. This was the first child abuse prevention training in Coffee County for the Hispanic community.

The two-hour training session was in Spanish, including video, presentation, discussion and printed materials. Attending the training and materials were free, thanks to a grant awarded to the Coffee County CAC.

“I’d like to thank all participants for joining the center in our mission to end child abuse,” said Joyce Prusak, executive director of Coffee County CAC. “I am proud of the Hispanic community for being so responsible and taking this necessary step to ensure every child in Coffee County has a safe and happy childhood. It will take the entire community to end child abuse, which has been a growing problem in Coffee County. I’d like to thank Stacy Morales Garcia for translating and continuously supporting the Coffee County CAC. Without Stacy’s help, we wouldn’t be able to provide this essential training about child abuse prevention to members of the Hispanic community.”

Prusak encouraged community leaders and businesses to take the training and to offer it to their employees.

“The training is free, and by completing it, you’re taking responsibility and action to prevent child abuse,” Prusak said. “Children can’t protect themselves – children rely on adults to protect them. As adults, we need to be equipped with knowledge so we can help the most vulnerable members of our society. Child abuse is a real issue, but we can end it. We need to learn to recognize signs of child abuse, to know how to react if we spot red flags, and to know what to do if we suspect child abuse.”

The Coffee County CAC trained facilitators use Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children training. The training empowers adults with knowledge, teaching them to recognize red flags and to prevent child abuse. After completing the training session, every participant receives a Certificate of Completion for the two-hour training. The program aims to eliminate child abuse through training adults to recognize and prevent child abuse. Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children programs are “the only evidence-informed, adult-focused child sexual abuse prevention trainings proven to increase knowledge and change behavior,” according to www.d2l.org.

For more information about the training or to schedule a training session, visit coffeecountycac.org, call Elena Cawley at 931-723-8888 or email elena@coffeecountycac.org.