MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Child Advocacy Center united with other advocacy centers across the country for a virtual presentation to educate the public about their crucial work and raise money for their cause.
Using their collective voices, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center was one of the dozen centers who came together Thursday to share how they work to help abuse survivors.
The presentation included musical performances as well as celebrity appearances. Some of those celebrities are survivors themselves.
“So many children are afraid to talk about it, and I certainly understand the struggle,” said CNN personality Don Lemon.
Some shared personal stories and their hopes for the future.
“Just like we would protect the little ones that are in us, we need to protect the little ones that are all out there right now,” said actor and activist Terry Crews.
They also took a look at the struggles child advocacy groups have faced during the pandemic.
“Child abuse didn’t stop during the COVID-19 pandemic. It just got harder to detect due to the lack of interaction with teachers, school officials and healthcare professionals,” Lemon said.
But the important work has carried on. Law enforcement and investigators talked about how they collaborate to make children and families more comfortable during investigations.
“They keep us grounded, connected,” said Tarik Muslimovic with the Austin Police Department. “They provide all the services, counseling, one on ones, group sessions, forensic interviews.”
Some shared the power of talking though trauma.
“I believe in mental health therapy helps them move forward,” said Charlotte Jones with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. “I like to tell a lot of the families that come to me, ‘What happened to you, does not define you.’ I think working with them as young children we’re able to help them rebuild that self-esteem because they’ve lost that, take away their self-blame, help them move forward as children it helps them to be more productive adults.”