Child abuse is a cycle, one that the Child Abuse Prevention Association says can be broken through education.
The nonprofit group is here to help break that pattern by offering parenting classes, support groups and other outreach programs to the people of the Lowcountry.
And while child abuse is far from being a pleasant subject, CAPA has found a way to have a little fun while raising awareness about the devastating issue. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the organization is planning a few events in honor of that theme.
CAPA executive director Susan Cato said all three events help raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, and also about the services that are available to families, most of which are free to the public.
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"So often families experience trouble when they're in isolation and they don't know what's available to them," Cato said.
CAPA has partnered again with Marine Corps Community Services South Carolina to present the 16th annual KidFest on Saturday -- not only to recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month but also the Month of the Military Child.
KidFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Cross Creek Shopping Center in Beaufort. The purpose of the festival is to educate families about what services are offered in the area and to offer a free day of fun. There will be face painting, games, bounce houses, dancing, snow cones and more.
Kids will even get a chance to decorate angel wings for CAPA's upcoming Angel Walks.
The walks are another way the organization spreads the word about child abuse. But the walks also raise money to help CAPA continue its work in the community.
This year CAPA will host its inaugural Bluffton Angel Walk on April 16 at Lowcountry Day Preschool in Bluffton. And the third annual Beaufort Angel Walk will be April 30 at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Both walks will include an angel parade for children ages 6 and younger, entertainment by local dance studios and a 5K or 1-mile walk/run. Registration for both events will begin at 8 a.m. Angel parades will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the actual walks will begin at 9 a.m. Cost is $35 for each walker, $25 for ages 65 and up, and free for children ages 10 and younger if they walk with registered adults.
To get a T-shirt, register by April 1 for the Bluffton walk and by April 15 for the Beaufort one.
"What we need is a community that wraps around families and that knows what services are available so we can stop abuse before it happens," Cato said.