Center for Prevention of Abuse holds awareness kick-off event

By WEEK Producer

April 4, 2013 Updated Apr 4, 2013 at 10:15 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Center for Prevention of Abuse is working with area partners to promote Child Abuse Prevention Month this April.

Thursday, the Center held their fourth annual child abuse prevention kick-off event.

Greg Williams, a child advocate, was the guest speaker. Williams shared the story of his grand daughter, 2-year-old Reagan Williams, who was killed by a child care provider in 2006.

Williams says he was turned away by the DCFS multiple times when attempting to report the signs of abuse.

"A lot of organizations, agencies have information about children, but a lot of times they don't share that information, and if there was more sharing, a lot children would not fall through the cracks," said Williams.

"We're really focusing our efforts in getting the community aware of preventative efforts and raising awareness on what to do if we notice child abuse and neglect is occurring," said Director of Family Centered Services Sara Dillefield.

Directors at the Center say incidents of abuse are on the rise. In 2012, reported cases of child abuse increased 4.5-percent in downstate Illinois.

The number to report abuse is 1-800-25-ABUSE.

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