Did you know that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month? Every year, Child Abuse Prevention Month brings to light the fact that many do not realize the
peril our children can experience and have to deal with right here in Northwest Florida. 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.
Enter the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center. They provide services for young child abuse
victims and their families in a child-friendly environment.
There are two centers, one in Niceville in Okaloosa County, and the Pierce Family Children's Advocacy Center in
DeFuniak Springs in Walton County. It is estimated that for every
one child ECCAC helps, there are two children out there who are not helped.
In ECCAC's 17-year history, 11,000 children have received more than 43,000 services at no cost to include mental health therapy, crisis intervention, referrals to other community providers, interviews and medicals. The ECCAC raises 60% of their annual budget for the two Centers through special events, donations and
community-sponsored fundraisers. The remainder of monies are generated through grant requests and
To create awareness of April being National Child Abuse Month, ECCAC is offering wreath and yard sign for a $100 donation, and t-shirts for a $15 donation. To purchase, go on-line to www.eccac.org, or call 850-833-
9237 in Okaloosa County, or (850) 892-0280 in Walton County.
The Center so appreciates the support of Impact 100. Their funding has helped us provide Child Safety Matters prevention education to more than 3000 children, grades K-5!