The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) is recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, and a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect.
That is the 24/7 job of the multi-disciplinary team of staff and volunteers at ECCAC centers in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. ECCAC is a part of the National Children’s Advocacy Center non-profit organization. There are 950 Centers across the country, with 27 of them located in Florida.
Over the past 20 years, ECCAC has provided over 150,000 services at no cost to more than 15,000 children experiencing abuse, abandonment or neglect to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals.
How can you help? Volunteer, donate, attend an ECCAC event, spread the word, or tour either of their Centers. For more information, visit www.eccac.org. If you suspect abuse, report it by calling the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
Did You Know? There are approximately 1,100 cases of child sexual and physical abuse reported annually in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, an average of three a day. Despite those big numbers, nearly 2/3 of the actual needs to help child victims go unmet due to lack of reporting to authorities. It is estimated that for every one child ECCAC helps, there are two children out there who are not helped.