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Holding the banner for Friday’s 5th annual Child Abuse Prevention Walk are Gene Porter, left and Bobby Wrenn, right.

The Department of Social Services hosted its annual child abuse prevention walk, along with support from community leaders and members of the community at 10 a.m. Friday morning hosted its annual child abuse prevention walk, along with support from community leaders and members of the community. 

  Although rain and thunderstorms prevented the walk from occurring, it certainly didn’t take away from the walkers efforts to raise awareness of child abuse prevention in the Emporia Greensville-County community. Friday marked the fifth annual child abuse prevention walk. The walkers wore blue T-shirts and held in their hands blue and silver pinwheels in their efforts to bring awareness to an ongoing concern.

“Child abuse is not just a nationwide problem it occurs right here in our community,” Greensville-Greensville Emporia DSS Director John Holtkamp said.

He went on to ask the question. “Why do we believe we need to hit our children to teach them”?  Holtkamp and his wife were determined  to prove that belief to be incorrect.

“My wife and I have raised four successful children,” Holtkamp said. We raised one daughter and three sons, one being a set of twins, all without spanking them.”

His adult children are now proud parents of their own children and are raising them the same way through guidance not hitting. 

Bringing child abuse prevention awareness to the community, DDS team along with community partners have come together in an effort to help parents stop a cycle of abusing their children. Child abuse complaints have lowered 47 percent since last year in Emporia-Greensville.  Participants, in their efforts to raise awareness in the community, are hopeful that the Child abuses cases throughout Emporia-Greensville will continue to decline.