Billboard campaign spreads awareness of help for abuse victims

One of the billboards set up by the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, part of their new...
One of the billboards set up by the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, part of their new campaign.(WEEK)
Published: Nov. 12, 2022 at 11:28 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - A series of new billboards are starting to appear around the Peoria area, with the goal of spreading the word about a program helping young victims of trauma and domestic violence.

It’s part of the ‘Safe from the Start’ program, offered at Peoria’s own Center for Prevention of Abuse. Through the program, children that are victims of at-home or community violence can process their emotions and deal with the trauma associated.

Each billboard was placed strategically in areas known for criminal activity and histories of domestic violence. It’s one of nine programs statewide with a similar goal: give affected kids access to the assistance they need.

“We need to help children name their emotions and just come to terms with any trauma they may have experienced so that they can grow from it and learn from it,” says the Center’s CEO Carol Merna.

Merna says one in five adults has experienced childhood trauma at least three times in their life. Through this approach, she says, people know about the resources available for families and friends that are aware of a child impacted.

“Sometimes kids need help,” adds Merna. “(We) want to help them change maybe a broken childhood and make sure their adulthood is not broken.”

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence or abuse in any way, you can use the free resources offered by the Center by visiting their website here.