The end of summer provides the perfect time of year to hold the annual Crimes Against Children conference, organizers say.
Children returning to school begin building trust in their teachers almost immediately, and in many cases, will divulge abuse that may have been going on at home during the summer months, according to the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC).
“Not only does DCAC read more than 27,000 reports of child abuse each year, we coordinate and provide services for over 6,000 people,” said Ellen Hatcher, DCAC Development Officer. “This has resulted in high conviction rates on criminal child abuse cases in Dallas County, and families have been able to receive the services they need to overcome the trauma of abuse.”
For nearly a week in mid-August, DCAC and Dallas Police Department held the downtown conference. Presenters offered interactive instruction for fighting crimes against children and steps for helping children heal.
More than 5,000 people attended, including government and nonprofit agency employees in the fields of law enforcement, child protective services, social work, children’s advocacy, therapy, and medicine. Speakers included DCAC President and CEO Lynn M. Davis and former FBI agent Emily Vacher.
Next on the docket for DCAC is the annual Art for Advocacy auction, set for Nov. 9 in the private event room at General Datatech. Silent and live auctions will take place for 1980s-style art pieces, with the proceeds going to DCAC.
“I’ve always felt like raising money for DCAC was the easiest sell in the world,” said Lindsey Billingsley, event co-chair. “It’s impossible to turn down financially supporting victims of the most severe child abuse while assuring them that DCAC is going to fight on their behalf with expert investigative and healing services.”
Ninety cents of every dollar raised at Art for Advocacy goes back to the families DCAC serves, according to Hatcher.
“These are one-of-a-kind pieces that the artists and gallerists donate 100 percent to DCAC,” she said.