CHARLESTON – For the month of November, the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) is asking law enforcement and friends across the state to stop shaving. 

This will be part of a new fall fundraiser, “No Shave for the Brave,” where money raised will help child victims of abuse across West Virginia.

Registration is now open for individuals to join in the challenge and grow out their beards. For those that want to participate, go to wvcan.org/events. 

Established in 2006, WVCAN is the network that coordinates and provides a comprehensive response to child abuse in West Virginia. WVCAN’s membership roster includes 21 child advocacy centers (CACs) in West Virginia’s major cities, as well as in small rural communities. 

“This has been a successful fundraiser in Jefferson County with the Sheriff’s Department supporting their local CAC, so we’ve decided to take it statewide,” said WVCAN Executive Director Emily Chittenden-Laird. “No Shave for the Brave is a fun celebration of law enforcement, CAC supporters, and the work of CACs to bring hope and healing to kids all across the Mountain State.”

Last year, CACs statewide served 3,518 children – a nearly 50% increase in the last five years. One in every 100 children in WVCAN’s service area were seen by a child advocacy center last year. Seventy-five percent of the children served by CACs were under the age of 13. Most of children served by WV CACs were there because of allegations of sexual abuse – 70%. A third of alleged offenders were the child’s parent, and 99% of alleged offenders were someone the child knows.

The CAC is a child-friendly facility with staff that works to provide children and families professional, compassionate care in order to reduce the trauma often experienced by children that are victims of abuse. Families are never charged for services at the centers.

WVCAN is a statewide coalition of Child Advocacy Centers and is dedicated to helping local communities respond to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient and put the needs of child abuse victims first.  As the state membership body for 21 Child Advocacy Centers, WVCAN provides training, technical assistance, leadership, legislative and policy advocacy, and overall coordination to Child Advocacy Centers and multidisciplinary teams around the state as well as developing centers, multidisciplinary teams and child abuse professionals. As a statewide leader on multidisciplinary approaches to supporting child victims of abuse, WVCAN’s purpose is to empower local communities to provide comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate services to victims of child abuse.

No Shave for the Brave is open to the public. Prizes will be awarded for “Best Beard” and “Most Money Raised.” If someone doesn’t want to participate but wants to donate to the cause, they can do to wvcan.org/donate. 

Contact WVCAN with questions at 304-414-4455 or visit wvcan.org/events for more information.

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