Best-selling author to appear at child abuse prevention event in South Bend
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—Looking ahead to National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, the South Bend Family and Children’s Center is reminding the community that they can make a difference.
The center said that anyone can prevent child abuse and neglect by lending a hand to a parent, letting a child know they can depend on them and most importantly, reporting abuse and neglect.
“If you notice any signs of child abuse or neglect, report it right away. It’s important, you don’t want this to go on too long for a child because their life is at risk,” said Claire Powell, Director of Development for the Family and Children’s Center.
In 2007, the child abuse and neglect rate per 1,000 children in St. Joseph County was 25.2, according to the 2019 Indiana Kids Count Data Book.
If you or someone you know has information about a case of abuse, call 1-800-800-5556.
“If you’re worried about calling, no one will know that you’re the one that’s calling, it’s anonymous. There might not be anything going on, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Powell said.
The center assists nearly 800 families and children across St. Joseph County.
Each April, the center hosts an awareness event with a guest speaker. This year, it’s New York Times best-selling author Dave Pelzer.
Pelzer’s book, “A Child Called It,” details the abuse he suffered as a child and his time in the foster care system.
“It’s amazing. I think that he overcame such an awful experience and I think his message of child abuse prevention is extremely important in our community. We want to do everything we can to be there for children and make sure none of them are abused or neglected,” Powell said.
The awareness event is scheduled for April 16 at the Century Center from 6 to 8 p.m. ABC57 Morning Anchor Jennifer Lee will be MCing the event.