Smyrna Police Department Lt. Jeff Duke and Det. Marcy Gossett silently raised the Children's Memorial Flag in tribute to all the child victims and adult survivors of child abuse and child sexual abuse in our community. The moment of silence recognized child victims who remain silent and never find the courage to disclose the abuse.
The Child Advocacy Center and 16 partner agencies concluded the 19 Days of Activism for the Prevention of Violence and Abuse Against Children and Youth with the Virtual Flag Raising. The event was held at noon Wednesday, Nov. 18 in front of Rutherford County Juvenile Court. You can view the recording of the event at facebook.com/cacrutherford.
"The Child Advocacy Center responds to child abuse cases as a multidisciplinary team with the Department of Children's Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's Office. Department of Children's Services investigates allegations of abuse and protects children," Child Advocacy Center Family Services Coordinator Jennifer Gamble said at the Flag Raising Ceremony.
"Law enforcement investigates the crime and arrests perpetrators. The District Attorney's Office aggressively prosecutes offenders. While the Child Advocacy Center provides forensic interviews of child victims, family advocacy for parents and grandparents, helps children heal from the trauma of the abuse and helps families rebuild their shattered lives," Gamble continued.
Local heroes who protect the children in our community shared information on child abuse reporting and how the Child Protective Investigative Team works together. Speakers with Gamble included Christina Moody from the Department of Children's Services, Det. Patty Oeser from Rutherford County Sheriff's Office, Assistant District Attorney General Hugh Ammerman, and the Honorable Judge Donna Scott Davenport.
The Women's World Summit Foundation sponsors the 19 Days of Activism for the Prevention of Violence Against Children and Youth annually. This is the 10th year that Rutherford County agencies have partnered to raise awareness about child abuse. The agencies that work their hearts out every day to protect the children in our community include:
- Boys and Girls Club of Rutherford County
- Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
- Department of Children's Services
- District Attorney's Office
- Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center
- Juvenile Court of Rutherford County
- Kymari House
- La Vergne Police Department
- Murfreesboro City Schools
- Murfreesboro Police Department
- Our Kids Center
- Safe Baby Court
- Prevention Coalition for Success
- Rutherford County Sheriff's Office
- Smyrna Police Department
- Special Kids
"When you make a child abuse report in Rutherford or Cannon Counties you activate the Child Protective Investigative Teams. Please do not hesitate to make that report," concluded Gamble. "Vulnerable children are counting on us to protect them." The Department of Children's Services child abuse reporting number is 1-877-237-0004.
For more information on the 19 Days of Activism visit the website at https://www.woman.ch/19-days-of-activism-prevention-kit/ or contact the Child Advocacy Center at (615) 867-9000.