Chatt Tech event to address child abuse and exploitation
by Mark Andrews
Apr 02, 2013 | 1174 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Friday, April 19, Chattahoochee Technical College’s North Metro Campus in Acworth will present its Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation information program. Presented by the Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, the event will feature eight presenters, speaking from the fields of childrens’ advocacy to law enforcement.

According to www.chattahoocheetech.edu, the goal of the event is to educate the public on child abuse and exploitation “from a sociological, criminal and psychological perspective.”

“For the past year and a half Angela Williams, CEO of [advocacy center] VOICE Today, has been speaking to Chattahoochee Tech students in the Criminal Justice Technology Program about Childhood Sexual Abuse. Each time she spoke to the classes, multiple students admitted that they had been victims of such abuse as a child,” CTC Specialist for Public Relations and External Affairs Rebecca Long said. “Statistically it is said that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will have been victims of child sexual abuse.”

Long said Criminal Justice Instructor Marcy Hehnly was so moved by the students’ stories and experiences she said felt she needed to do something.

“Her idea has been to educate others on these crimes, especially since Atlanta is considered a hub for child sex trafficking and abuse,” Long said. “With the idea to do a four-hour service learning project on the topic, the subject has now ballooned into other areas of the college.

“Psychology and sociology instructors have joined forces to organize what will be an eight-hour event on the subjects of child sex trafficking and abuse with multiple experts coming in to speak.”

She said students have joined in the efforts by helping to organize the event and holding a teddy bear collection drive on all campuses to be able to donate these bears to the different agencies throughout the service area.

Police can acquire Peace Officer Standards and Training credit for attending and should contact Charles Spann at Charles.Spann@chattahoocheetech.edu to register for the event. CTC staff and faculty can receive two hours of staff development credit by attending.

Speakers at the event include Amy Economopoulos, executive director of the Anna Crawford Children’s Center in Cherokee County; Lt. Tanya Smith, commander of the Administrative Operations Division and public information officer for the Holly Springs Police Department; Tiffany Sawyer, director of prevention services at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy; Angela Williams, founder and CEO of VOICE Today; Tom Scales, chairman of the board of directors and a co-founder of The Innocence Revolution; Sara R. Thomas, special agent III with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; Kim McCoy, director of the Victim Witness Unit for the district attorney’s office in Cobb County; and Thomas A. Bastis, detective with the Cobb County Police Department.

Free and open to the public, the event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in building 400 of the North Metro Campus. Registration is available online at http://www.chattahoocheetech.edu/service-learning/.