14 years strong, the annual Children Exposed to Violence conference continues to make a local impact


Hundreds of people gathered in the Quad Cities today to discuss how to protect children from child abuse and treat victims. 

The Child Abuse Council has been hosting the Children Exposed to Violence Conference since 2003.

“Knowledge is power.” said Juvenile Probation Officer Georgia Newcomer.

This effort is focused on protecting the kids.

“The more you learn, the more you’re going to be able to be effective and any little tidbit you can pick up in a conference, if it helps one child, it’s worth attending,” said Newcomer.

The Child Abuse Council says prevention and treatment techniques change every year so with the evolving field comes the continued efforts.

“It’s incredibly important to stay up on the most recent research, the most recent findings, what’s happening in our field, how we can better serve people, how we can be more efficient, more conscious, and more supportive,” said Child Abuse Council Development Director Angie Kendall. 

Violence can be a delicate and complicated situation so it was important to the Child Abuse Council to have a wealth of resources.

Alecia Brooks works for Iowa Legal Aid, one of many vendors at the conference offering services to professionals in the child care field.

“No one should have to go through experiencing any type of abuse but in the event that they have experienced it, I think it’s very important that there are organizations that exist in the community to help them heal from that trauma,” said  Brooks.

Some attendees have been coming every year since the conference began, not because their job requires them to, but because of the valuable info they always receive. 

“Breaking that cycle of that learned behavior of abuse, if we can get in there at the early age and the early prevention and the early education, is what’s key to stopping that cycle of violence,” said Chris Spencer, a juvenile court officer. 

This year’s keynote speaker was Anna Salter. She is one of the nation’s leading experts on sexual abuse. Her sessions focused on understanding sexual abuse and offenders and survivors.

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