FULTON, NY – The Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County will hold its annual meeting and presentation to the community on April 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. at The River Vista Conference Center in Fulton.
The event highlights many of the individuals and organizations that the CAC collaborates with in its efforts to combat child abuse and sexual exploitation in Oswego County and informs the community of the work the CAC does in supporting children and their families that have been affected by physical or sexual abuse.
“At our annual meeting we will look back at the accomplishments of the Oswego County Multi-Disciplinary Team as well as the volunteers and heroes who respond to child abuse allegations every day,” said CAC Executive Director Karrie Damm. “We appreciate our community partners and value the relationships we have fostered over the years with our valued volunteers and board members. It’s an honor to be able to recognize them at our annual meeting.”
In addition to recognizing volunteers and the presentation of the award for Best Multi-Disciplinary Team Investigation of the Year, the CAC’s annual meeting will include an eye-opening presentation on child sexual exportation in Oswego County.
Key note speakers Assistant US Attorney Lisa Fletcher, NYSP Acting Senior Investigator Ben Miller and NYSP Computer Crime Unit Investigator Michael Eckler as well as a survivor will discuss the results from one of the most prolific sexually exploitive child abuse investigations in our community.
They will recount how the team approach they used for this investigation led to the conviction of Clifford Seaway, a very dangerous sex offender, and saved at least five children from further abuses.
“There has been an increase in child sexual exploitation, not just in Oswego County but overall,” said Investigator Miller. “Child exploitation is being reported to law enforcement more regularly by educators, counselors, advocates, and even family friends. Education and awareness has a lot to do with the reporting aspect and I attribute the increase in exploitation to social media and portable electronic
devices. Without proper controls, supervision, or awareness, social media and electronics have allowed children to have access to anyone in the world.”
“Child sexual exploitation is a form of child abuse that unfortunately is happening far too often in our communities,” said Damm. “With its theme of ‘Child Exploitation, The More you Know the More you See,’ our annual meeting will help to raise awareness of the warning signs of child sexual exploitation and what we can do together to end help end it.”
“Talk to kids about their lives and who they are communicating with, online and in person,” added Investigator Miller. “Educate them about online safety and that there are dangerous people in this world who will try and befriend children online for the purposes of exploitation. There are many people willing to help, whether that be law enforcement, counselors, advocates, healthcare professionals, or school district employees. If something does not seem right with a child, it probably isn’t and you should always ask someone who is familiar with working with children in this regard.
The CAC’s annual meeting and presentation to the community is open to the public.
Tickets, which include dinner, are available at Eventbrite.com and at the Child Advocacy Center Facebook Page.
For more information call the CAC at 315-59CHILD (315-592-4453), visit www.oswegocac.org, and follow the CAC on Facebook.