Ahead of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, there’s been a surprising dark side to the growth in population in Middle Tennessee.
“With the increase in population, unfortunately we do see an increase in child abuse,” said June Turner, CEO of the Nashville Children’s Alliance. “So we’ve got to be ready as an agency to move forward and to be there for the kids and families who need us.”
The Alliance is part of the city’s Child Protective Investigative Team, and works closely with Metro Police, the Dept. of Children’s Services, and the Office of the District Attorney General.
From 2016 to 2017, the agency reported a two-percent increase in forensic interviews and a 55-percent increase in therapy sessions.
“We want to think it doesn’t happen in our neighborhoods, churches, our families” said Turner. “Child abuse happens across the spectrum.”
Turner said exposure to social media is a big part of the problem.
“We can help with those trends,” said Turner. “Knowing how to support children when they come forward.”
For the child advocacy center, that comes with therapy, and ultimately, time.
“That’s why we’re here,” said Turner. “We want to give children that chance to put this in the past, to talk through it, to then be able to have good and productive lives as they move forward.”
The non-profit is funded by state and federal grants, donations, and special events, like its upcoming walk on April 7th.
To register go to the website and Go to “Events” tab.