BCAC Celebrates 30 Years Protecting Baltimore’s Children

Child sexual abuse is not a fun or easy topic to discuss with young people. Adverse childhood experiences including assault, witness to homicide and human trafficking are difficult to digest. Yet many Baltimore children and their families are victims of these terrifying experiences and often don’t know where to turn. Fortunately for them, Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC) opened its doors 30 years ago to become the voice of the victim, breaking the silence on sexual assault and adverse childhood experiences. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and there is no better time to celebrate 30 years of BCAC protecting, supporting, and advocating for children throughout the Baltimore region. Each year, BCAC serves more than 1,000 children and their families offering free services including medical exams, mental health and family advocacy, forensics and therapy to ensure a healthy recovery. BCAC is also a national model for training in youth serving organizations, education and advocacy.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse and sexual harassment is a conversation that is too often brushed under the rug. People prefer to look the other way in fear and in shame, often hesitating to report harassment or behavior that they know is wrong. Excuses are made and talk never moves into action. This is why the work of BCAC has never been more important. Because in 2018, #TimesUp. In the era of #metoo, it is time to bring this conversation to the forefront and keep it there. BCAC is proud to say it is a national model of excellence for advocacy and child protection. For 30 years, BCAC has been giving those saying #metoo a voice and a safe haven, and #BreakingTheSilence.

They say it takes a village to raise a healthy, well-adjusted child, but it also takes a strong, committed community to protect our City’s children. With BCAC leading the charge, the Baltimore community has stepped-up in support of the organization over the past 3 decades. From an involved, hands-on Board of Directors to partnerships with like-minded organizations and businesses around the region, BCAC has community partners committed to raising awareness for child sexual abuse. Consider businesses like ProMD Health who supports BCAC to ensure that the health and wellness of Baltimore children is a priority. Retailers like Wee Chic children’s store partner with BCAC each April to raise awareness for sexual abuse while raising money for the cause at the same time. Community heroes like Senator Bobby Zirkin, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, Attorney Steven Kelly, Cynthia Perkins at Child Protective Services, Delegate Susan McComas, Detective Jeffrey Mellott and Assistant State’s Attorney Stacie Sawyer are all advocates for the work of BCAC. And media partners like Mid-Atlantic Media support the great work of the organization and its staff.

On Friday, May 4, the Baltimore community will come together to celebrate 30 years of BCAC at the 5th annual Be A Hero gala at Port Discovery Children’s Museum. The evening will include a seated dinner by ROUGE Fine Catering, a program honoring our Community Heroes who have been working with children throughout Baltimore City, a live and silent auction, and a fun “after” party with an 80’s throwback theme featuring DJ Biz Markie. Tickets for the event are still available at www.bcaci.org/BeAHero.

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