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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month …Recognized by ECCAC with Proclamations

The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) and communities across the nation are bringing attention to the issue of child abuse prevention and how we as a society must support and help child victims of abuse. With National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, it 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.

To recognize this important month at both of ECCAC’s Centers in Niceville and DeFuniak Springs, two proclamations were publicly read. Chief Deputy Kenneth LaPee, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, read the Niceville Center proclamation along with ECCAC COO, Solange Arnett. In DeFuniak Springs, Dustin Cosson, Captain of the Criminal Investigations Bureau of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, read the proclamation with Julie Porterfield, ECCAC CEO, 

With 95% of child abuse being preventable, through education and various programs, ECCAC brings attention to the issue of child abuse prevention. 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. ECCAC provides free services to many of these children and their families.

Porterfield commented, “This is my 25th child abuse prevention month. In these 25 years, our two Centers have seen more than 19,000 children (reported cases). Statistically we know there are many more child victims who went without help. But, we are trying. Our community and its children are better because of ECCAC’s pivotal role in combating child abuse. We will continue to assist abused and abandoned children and implement our many prevention initiatives for children and teens in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.”

For further information about the ECCAC, visit or call 850-833-9237. If abuse is suspected, call the anonymous Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE. 

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