Child Advocacy Center to host 5K event Saturday

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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If you ask staff members at The Escambia County Regional Child Advocacy Center (CAC) if it’s about the money, their answer would be a resounding “no.”

Stephanie Myrick, Executive Director and Forensic interview Specialist, the event is more about bringing awareness about child abuse prevention to the public.

“We wanted to host an event to help bring awareness to child abuse and what we do,” Myrick said. “It’s more about community awareness and our efforts to promote prevention.

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The event is a 5K Run/Walk to be held Dogwood Hills Park on June 3 beginning at 8 a.m. The event fees are $25 per participant with a family fee of $50 for three or more in the same family. Donations are also being accepted for those who can’t participate in the event.
“We will have some literature on hand for those looking for information,” Myrick said. “We just want to let people know that we are here to help and that we are a resource for them when needed.”

Myrick said her offices have conducted 70 forensic interviews during the past year and have worked in area schools to provide preventative information to more than 500 students.

“Right now, 1 in 10 children will be secually abused before they turn 18,” Myrick said. “And less than 40 percent of those will tell anyone about the abuse. We are intent on educating adults and how they can do their part in making sure children know how to protect their bodies and how to stay safe. We also want to educate adults on how to talk to their children and let them know how to talk to someone about suspected or actual abuse.”

Myrick said many children who are victims of abuse don’t say anything to adults causing the abuse to continue.

“Some children may be confused about what sexual abuse really is,” Myrick said. “If they are confused, and just don’t know, they need to know that it’s OK to tell or ask questions. We don’t want children to think that it’s something you’re not supposed to talk about. It’s confusing when you’re a child and they may think it happens to every child. We want to break that and let children know they can talk about everything with an adult.”

Myrick said registration for the 5K may be completed before the event at the CAC offices or on the day of the event at the 5K site.