West Virginia teams up with nationwide campaign to stop child abuse

Local - 1/17/2013 6:18 PM by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - Roger Lockridge was 10 years old when he became a victim of domestic violence. He still remembers spending four months in a shelter.

He's now part of a nationwide campaign, called "One With Courage," to help keep children safe.

"It's a good feeling to be able to take part in a campaign like "One With Courage" and to directly be a part of the solution of something that was a problem for me years ago," Lockridge told WOAY.

The campaign is backed by child advocacy groups like Just for Kids Inc. and the Youth Advocacy Center. Sen. Bill Laird and Congressman Nick Rahall were at the event Thursday to show support.

The campaign focuses on the important role it says adults play in helping children. It encourages then to stand up to abuse.

"The biggest things adults can do is learn how to listen," said Just For Kids Inc. Director Scott Miller. "What we know is that if a child discloses abuse, and the adult reacts too strongly, the child may never tell their story again."

Lockridge agreed.

"Children, they have a little voice just as they have a little stature, and they need the adults. They need this generation to speak out for them -- not only so they can get their help then, but so they will be the next generation to help children in the future much like I did," he said.

Representatives with "One With Courage" said one in four girls under the age of 18 and one in six boys under the age of 18 are sexually abused.

Miller said tha due to these statistics, the number of West Virginia advocacy centers has grown.

If adults learn how to report the crime, Miller said, the centers will reduce the trauma for the child.


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