COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, WRBL is highlighting one local non-profit that is working to educate community collaborative partners on how to recognize the signs of abuse and how to prevent abuse from happening.

“About three in five children and adults in our community have experienced at least one ACE (adverse childhood experience),” project coordinator of Resilient Chattahoochee Valley Sidney Houck said. “We know that when you’ve experienced at least one adverse childhood experience, you are more likely to have another instance of that.”

Resilient Chattahoochee Valley has been a backbone organization in Columbus for the past three years in educating teachers, educators, law enforcement, health care providers, other professionals and family members in recognizing the signs of trauma or adverse childhood experiences. These experiences, referred to as ACES, include all types of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction.

They have also recently expanded the realm of ACEs to include things like the COVID pandemic, to include things like racism or community violence, like we’re seeing a stark increase in here in the Chattahoochee Valley,” Houck said.

According to Gun Violence Archive, to date this year 153 children have been killed and 271 injured in the U.S. 24 of those injured in Georgia, 10 of which happened right here in Columbus.

“What we’re doing is trying to build coping skills, toolboxes, give people the tools so that they can navigate life and be able to thrive for whatever that means for that person individually,” Houck said.

Their goal, educating their near 70 community partners and family members by providing resources and facilitating trainings on how to prevent childhood trauma or support a child after experiencing a trauma.

Thursday April 13, Resilient Chattahoochee Valley is holding their monthly Connections Matter Training on Phenix City’s Troy University Campus from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. While registration is closed for tomorrow’s event, there will be future events. For more information on upcoming events or additional resources, visit their website.