BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Every 47 seconds, a child in the United States is abused.
That means during a typical round of golf, 306 children have become a victim.
That’s why the Prescott House choose the golf course as a way to raise awareness and support during a pandemic.
“We are challenging the golfers and raising awareness about the sad statistic that every 47 seconds a child is abused,” says Mary Melton, the development coordinator Prescott House.
More than one hundred golfers gave their time and their money to join in the effort Thursday at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley.
The Prescott House is a child advocacy center, serving children in Jefferson County who have been victims of abuse, neglect and violence, or have been witness to a crime.
Prescott House helps over 1250 children and families each year.
“You have to understand what children face without a child advocacy center to understand the importance of having one,” says Director Maribeth Thomas
Every year 450-500 children come to the Prescott House for forensic interviews, counseling sessions and other support.
The pandemic has of course changed that. Many reports of abuse come from teachers, and with children out of school or learning remotely, those reports have drastically dropped.
“Unfortunately less eyes on kids results in cases not reported,” says forensic interviewer and counselor Debbie Wilburn. “It really is a child public health crisis when you consider the long term effects of child abuse,” says Wilburn.
According to DHR 22-23% of child abuse and neglect reports came from school personnel and educators.
Since April 1st 2020 that has dropped to 6.7%
“We are anticipating a sharp increase in reporting as more schools return to in person learning and children have greater access to safe adults,” says Thomas.
The golf tournament is helping launch the Prescott House new “47secondchallenge”
“We really just want to bring awareness to how often children are abused are neglected," says Wilburn. “We’d love to see people commit to $47 a month to combat the epidemic of child abuse, but anything helps."
If you want to support the mission, check out https://www.prescotthouse.org/