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Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month Recognized by Child Advocacy Center, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis

Published in Media Releases

Child abuse happens everywhere, across all sectors of society, and yet unless one works in the field of child abuse response, it’s rarely discussed.

April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis issued a proclamation for the City of St. Cloud to recognize it. He also paid a visit to the Central Minnesota Child Advocacy Center (CAC) along with Stearns County Deputy Attorney Michael Lieberg. The CAC operates as a multidisciplinary team comprised of CAC staff, law enforcement, human services, and county attorneys.

The CAC provides critically important services to victims of child abuse, partnering with law enforcement, child protection, county attorneys, advocates, mental health and medical professionals. This can help children tell their story only once — in a safe, comfortable space — instead of repeating their story multiple times, potentially re-traumatizing the victim.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in seven children experienced some kind of abuse or neglect in the past year. Even still, most research finds child abuse and neglect are underreported, with many people not disclosing the harm they suffered until adulthood, if ever.

Since the CAC opened in September 2016, more than 2,200 children, adolescents and vulnerable adults have been served.

“Child abuse occurs where we live and impacts many people. Our hope at the CAC is that we can allow those we serve to start the healing process as a result of coming to a safe, trauma-informed, person-centered space,” said CAC Manager Monica Guggenberger, MS, LMFT.

To recognize Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, several CentraCare facilities will be lit blue tonight (April 5) to shine a light on this important topic.

CAC services are provided to families at no cost. As the organization’s main sponsor, CentraCare supports the CAC through financial contributions received from the community.