Children’s Advocacy Center Raises Awareness for Child Abuse at Prayer Vigil

The month of April is recognized nationally as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how the community came together to stop the cycle of child abuse.


Community leaders gathered to pray for children who have lost their lives to abuse.

Vice President of Children’s Advocacy Board of Directors Tammi Salazar says, “Those children cannot help themselves; you know, if they’re six years old and you’re being abused or neglected, and someone is not willing to be a voice for you, and be an advocate for you, it’s just hopeless. If everyone of us does a little part, if we’re all willing to step up, then we really can be change for these children.”


Executive Director of Children’s Advocacy Center Kendra Gauthier says the community can get involved by volunteering to be CASA advocates.

“It feels so good to be able to give back and help these kids, to speak up for those kids, and help them tell their story so they can get justice and move on from this traumatic experience.”


Law enforcement and child protection services work together to stop the cycle of abuse.

Pineville Juvenile Detective Shelley Peppers says, “It brings a lot of excitement and peace in knowing the fact that you’re able to help the child that will hopefully have a completely fresh start from that point forward.”


Each agency is responsible for educating and informing the public about child abuse.

Peppers says, “Having the opportunity to help especially children who are so vulnerable really does bring the best gratification that you can get from it.”


This prayer vigil serves as a reminder the community plays a big role in keeping children safe.

Blue pinwheels are being placed across the community to raise awareness for child abuse.

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