Butterfly Bridge to host Blue Ribbons and Biscuits

Published 6:32 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

By Angela Hayes | Special to the Advertiser

Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center will kick off Child Abuse Awareness Month on April 4 with Blue Ribbons and Biscuits.

The hour-long event, from 7:30-8:30 a.m., will offer complimentary biscuits and coffee at Elizabeth Hall in Clanton.

Featuring remarks from local leaders District Judge Rhonda Hardesty, incoming District Court Judge Chris Speaks, and author, lawyer and motivational speaker Elizabeth Huntley, the event will include the signing of a proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Chilton County.

Jewelry specially designed by Dixie Owl Creations will be available for purchase, as well as window cling decals that local businesses can purchase for $25 to display in their windows throughout April, showing their support for child abuse victims.

“The month of April is dedicated as Child Abuse Awareness Month, celebrating the important role communities play in strengthening families,” BBCAC Executive Director and Child Forensic Interview Specialist Jana Zuelzke said. “Unfortunately, child abuse does occur, and it’s really important that communities, clubs and organizations work together to recognize the signs of abuse.”

Attendees of the event will obtain information on what indicators to look for if a person suspects a child is being physically, sexually or emotionally abused, as well as neglected.

They will also learn how to contact officials if they suspect abuse is occurring and tips on how to help protect potential victims.

Three hundred seventy-seven cases of abuse were reported locally in the past year, a number that is up from 211 cases five years ago.

One in four girls and one in six boys have the possibility of becoming a sexual abuse victim, Zuelzke said.

Butterfly Bridge offers counseling and therapy to victims and their families while also playing an important role in ongoing investigations as needed by helping to conduct forensic interviews.

Throughout April, several local restaurants have pledged their support with the GIVEBACK campaign, donating 10 percent of their sales on a chosen day.

A full list of participating restaurants and their dates can be found at www.butterflybridgecac.org, along with information on “Our Shared Story,” a collection of artwork created by local children showing how victims of abuse feel, being displayed at The Chilton County Arts Council’s Rose Gallery in downtown Clanton.

For more information, call Butterfly Bridge at (205) 755-4205 and follow the organization’s Facebook page for up-to-date information on current events.