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CALM Puts Focus on Child Abuse Prevention with ‘I Will Not Be Silent’ Campaign

Child abuse happens every day, in every form — violence, sexual, neglect — and it continues to go unreported. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time when CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) invites the public to join in a community-wide effort to raise a collective voice against child abuse, and pledge support to its third annual “I Will Not Be Silent Campaign” in Santa Barbara County.

CALM is proud to host several events that are open to the public, including a community forum in partnership with several other local agencies, and an online auction to support its vital child abuse prevention and treatment programs. CALM invites the public to attend these events and join the effort to build a community of responsibility.

Ladies Get Loud for CALM in Santa Maria!

On Thursday, April 3, CALM is hosting “Ladies Get Loud,” a fundraiser cocktail party at the Santa Maria Country Club from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

At this special ladies’ night out, the women will be waited on hand-and-foot by “celebrity waiters” — local notable gentlemen who will be serving them sips and bites throughout the evening.

Celebrity waiters participating in the Ladies Get Loud event include Dan Orr, Santa Maria fire chief; Steve Lavagnino, Santa Barbara County supervisor; Kevin Walthers, Allan Hancock College president; and Jeff Cotter, executive director of the Allan Hancock College Foundation. There will also be celebrity waiters participating from a variety of local Santa Maria businesses, including Coca-Cola Bottling, Toyota of Santa Maria, Dan Blough Construction, Pacific Energy and more. Additionally, two staff members from CALM’s Santa Maria office, Salvador Vargas and Pedro Moreida, will be participating.

All these men are volunteering the gift of their time for this event, and any tips they raise will all be donated to CALM. The event will be emceed by local radio personality Jay Turner, the program director for KXFM 99.1, an El Dorado Broadcasters station.

To round up the evening, CALM will be doing a “Text to Give” opportunity, where guests can send a message to 41444 with the word “CALM,” a dollar amount they wish to donate, their name and a message. Those who are unable to attend the Ladies Get Loud event on April 3 are also encouraged to “Text to Give” and make a donation to CALM at their leisure.

Tickets for the Ladies Get Loud event are $40, and sponsorships are available. Click here for tickets, or call 805.266.0052.

Santa Maria Open House

Also in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, CALM will host an Open House Reception at its Santa Maria office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 10. There will be a short program at 11:30 a.m. with a proclamation presented by a representative from Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino’s office.

The community is invited to stop by the office to meet the CALM staff, tour the therapy rooms, and learn more about CALM’s programs and services in the Santa Maria area.

Community Events

As part of its awareness-raising efforts during the month of April, CALM is hosting two parenting events that are free and open to the community. Both events will take place at CALM’s Santa Barbara office, 1236 Chapala St.

» On Tuesday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m., CALM is hosting a parenting workshop, “Terrible Twos and Frustrating Fours: Compliance Without Tears,” facilitated by CALM therapist Camila Barreto, MFT.

» On Wednesday, April 23 at 9:30 a.m., CALM is hosting a parenting lecture, “Resiliency and Your Child’s Brain,” presented by CALM therapist Ryan Smith, PsyD.

» On Friday, April 25, 2014 CALM is co-sponsoring a community forum, “Maternal Mental Health & Child Safety: The tragic consequences of untreated maternal mood disorders.” The consequences of untreated maternal mental health disorders can be tragic. With a roster of distinguished speakers and thought-provoking breakout groups, this event addresses the legal, ethical, medical, emotional, social and economic impacts of maternal mental health and child neglect — and the question of what should be done.

Featured speakers include George Parnham, JD, the criminal defense attorney for Andrea Yates, who will share his journey to advocacy in the recognition and effective treatment of maternal mental illness; Dr. Nisha AbdulCader, M.D., FAPP, is board certified in child abuse pediatrics, and will highlight the medical aspects of child neglect and the long-term health consequences of adverse childhood experiences; and Supervisor Janet Wolf will be the special guest speaker from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

This forum is open to the public and sponsored by CALM, First 5 of Santa Barbara, Public Health Department Perinatal Mental Health & Substance Use Coalition, Postpartum Education for Parents, and the Office of Supervisor Wolf, and will take place at the Santa Barbara County Education Office Auditorium from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The fee is $25. Pre-registration required, please register online by clicking here.

Online Auction

CALM is also hosting an online auction (click here), open to the public, from April 15 through April 30. Participants can bid in the comfort of their own homes! The online auction will feature an impressive array of items, including a getaway to Park City, Utah, gift certificates to many top local restaurants and much more. Funds raised will go directly to the critical programs and services that prevent, assess and treat child abuse. Visit CALM’s website for more details.

There are many ways to get involved with CALM — come in for a visit at either the Santa Barbara or Santa Maria offices, donate to CALM’s efforts, and Raise Your Voice against child abuse. Unfortunately, child abuse does happen every day, in many forms — violence, sexual, neglect — and it continues to go unreported. CALM will continue to fight against child abuse for as long as it takes. Pledge your support today, raise your voice and join CALM’s “I Will Not Be Silent” Campaign.

CALM was founded in 1970 to reach stressed parents before they hurt their children. CALM continues to be the only non-profit agency in Santa Barbara County focusing solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive, cutting-edge programs. CALM offers children, families, and adults a safe, non-judgmental, caring, and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well-being.

For more information about all of CALM’s services, please call 805.965.2376 or click here.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing CALM.

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