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Group battles child abuse

POSTED: April 28, 2010 4:00 a.m.
Frank Reddy Dawson Community News/

Jennifer Newkirk, president of Prevent Child Abuse Dawson, places pinwheels in the grass April 26 in downtown Dawsonville. The pinwheels represent child abuse victims.

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and a statewide organization with presence in Dawson County is looking to spread the word.

  

Prevent Child Abuse Dawson President Jennifer Newkirk said the group’s goal is “to educate the public that there is child abuse out there, what it looks like, what can be done to prevent it and how you report it if you see it.”

  

The organization functions, Newkirk said, “as an awareness initiative and social advocacy organization.”

  

Volunteers meet at 3:30 p.m. the first Monday of every month at Dawson County Middle School. Newkirk said Prevent Child Abuse Dawson is always seeking volunteers.

  

“People who have the time and ability to get involved are the type of people we’re looking for...those who care and are interested in the issues of child abuse, neglect and child endangerment,” she said.

  

There are currently 10 active volunteers with the organization.

  

During April, Prevent Child Abuse Dawson places pinwheels near the Dawsonville Municipal Complex as a reminder of the children affected by abuse.

  

One of the organization’s most helpful functions, Newkirk said, is the telephone help line.

  

“It’s a confidential, anonymous help line,” she said. “If someone has some sort of issue and they need some place to talk it out with somebody or they need to access some help, they can call that number.”

  

The help line number is 1-800-CHILDREN, or e-mail helpline@pcageorgia.org.

  

Those interested in volunteering with Prevent Child Abuse Dawson, can contact Newkirk at (706) 216-5801, Ext. 1804.

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