On November 10, 2009 while cleaning, my attention was drawn to a Fayetteville, North Carolina news report on television. A mother, Antoinette Davis, had reported that her little 5-year-old girl was missing. Immediately, I thought of my grandchild, Delanie, and how she looked so much like the little missing girl, Shaniya. Daily prayers were done for the safe return of an innocent little one.

As news releases continued, allegations were made that her mother sold Shaniya into prostitution. Later, Shaniya was seen on a hotel security camera being carried by a man. My heart pained to even imagine such horrific acts against a little one. When the news was released that her body (sexually assaulted and suffocated) had been found in an overgrown field on the Lee-Harnett county line, I knew that we must be a voice for children in need.

With restless nights and unsure of what to do next, prayer became the answer. In January of 2010, 1600 individuals (family, friends, church members, co-workers, etc.) prayed for the end of child abuse. A seminar and vigil were also held to promote the prevention of child abuse. During our second year, 2011, the distribution of information regarding the signs/kinds of child abuse and how to take action were emphasized. A special thanks to Safechild for providing valuable resources during our 1st Community Prevention of Child Abuse Awareness Program. Our name was also created from the suggestions of Mrs. Hooker and Minister Bradley and we obtained status as a non-profit organization in 2011. Our major project for 2012 was a successful 1st (5K) Walk To Prevent Child Abuse held at the Amphitheater located in Smithfield, North Carolina.

We continue to raise public awareness of child abuse by presentations and distribution of information at community events, planting of pinwheel gardens, placing of ribbons on businesses during the month of April, and other valuable activities/projects. With the continued support from individuals, organizations, churches, and varied resources, we are able to meet the goals of our organization. In addition, funds raised during events are shared with Safechild of Wake County and Partnership For Children of Johnston County to support needed services.

North Carolina mandated reporting laws

North Carolina requires “any person or institution who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent… or has died as a result of maltreatment” to make a report to the county department of social services where the child resides or is found.