Letter: April is Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Since 1994, The GreenHouse in Dalton has served thousands of children who have made an outcry of sexual or physical abuse. As one of the first child advocacy centers in the state, The GreenHouse was a radical, nuanced idea to have trained professionals facilitate the system's response to child abuse.

In 2019, The GreenHouse has grown to provide more services than ever before -- the three pillars of our center have historically been advocacy, therapy and forensic interviews. Our expert staff provides quality service at no cost to victims and their families thanks to our generous community, United Way of Northwest Georgia and government-based grants.

The GreenHouse has once again decided to put a radical idea into practice. After seeing an increase in the number of victims we have the privilege to serve, The GreenHouse dared to ask, "What if we use the same effort and research-based principles to prevent child abuse and sexual assault as we do to respond to child abuse and sexual assault?"

The GreenHouse has partnered with our local school systems to provide child abuse and sexual assault prevention education to every ninth-grader in Whitfield and Murray counties. Students learn about respecting and setting boundaries, consent and advocating for themselves and others.

The GreenHouse will continue to provide quality, research-based services to victims and their families, but with an ounce of prevention, we're hoping the need for a trauma-informed system response dwindles in the coming.

Natima Walker

Director of The GreenHouse

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