Community gathers for prayer vigil to raise awareness for child abuse
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and over the next 30 days different groups will be providing a variety of public awareness campaigns.
Kicking off that list is a tradition by the Children's Advocacy Network (CAN). The group invites the community down for a prayer vigil on the first Monday of April.
The purpose is to raise awareness and give hope to children who are abused and neglected. It’s done by praying for the children and families who have been directly and indirectly impacted by child abuse.
The group serves many children throughout the year, and they say it's this kind of support that makes their efforts possible.
"Our agency is honored to work with over a thousand children every year,” said Wade Bond, Executive Director, CAN. “And the response from the entire community throughout the region is just enormous and overwhelming. The love and compassion that individuals have for us and the children that we serve is just tremendous."
There was even a few community leaders, coming to lend a hand in ending the cycle of abuse and neglect. They said it's humbling to see so many people there for the cause.
"Any community that comes out and recognizes needs and gets involved, that's the only way that we can one, help children, and two, be successful in getting down the things that might happen," said Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields.
"It's wonderful to see so many people come out and support this at the beginning of this month,” said Pastor Nathan Martin, City Councilman. “To call attention to this need and to recognize that our community has so many volunteers, I applaud every single one of them."
CAN was also proud to say that there's been nationwide progress for this cause. Ten years ago, one in four girls, and one in six boys was the statistics for children being abused. Now, it's down to one and ten children.