A generation ago certain things were considered “family matters.” Issues like alcoholism, substance abuse and domestic violence were regarded as personal problems, secretly kept, and too distasteful to discuss openly.

A generation ago certain things were considered “family matters.” Issues like alcoholism, substance abuse and domestic violence were regarded as personal problems, secretly kept, and too distasteful to discuss openly. Society largely avoided becoming involved with the private pain being suffered by and inflicted on families behind closed doors, expecting individuals to solve their own problems. It took courage and determination for our culture to face unpleasant realities and start reaching out to families and individuals who were silently struggling with dysfunction and violence in their households.

The 1970s and 1980s were pivotal decades in Eastern Jackson County’s history when it came to addressing so-called “family matters.” The leadership and audacity to make personal problems social problems broke the code of secrecy, and organizations that tackled tough issues got their start. It was this fearlessness that caused the Child Abuse Prevention Association to initiate a crises and information hotline staffed by Junior Service League volunteers in 1975. Volunteers took a proactive approach to child abuse prevention by providing resources and support to parents and by teaching classes for new parents in local hospitals.

CAPA continued to expand its services over the ensuing 35 years, adding a day treatment program for abused children and starting the region’s first child sexual abuse treatment program. Programs and services for families and children have been expanded and added and CAPA has developed strong partnerships with complimentary agencies around the area to provide a continuum of services in education, family support and counseling.

Few things in life are more disturbing and distasteful than violence against children, and it has been the CAPA staff and volunteers who have devoutly and unflinchingly faced up to the issues of abuse that affect children, family and society. The organization will celebrate its 35 years of success with a dinner, dance and auction on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Elks Club. The event will commemorate the small group of concerned citizens who stepped up to advocate for children victimized by abuse and neglect and to support parents through the stresses and pressures of raising a family.

Following cocktails and a short auction guests will enjoy dinner and dancing to the sounds of the Krazy Kats, a trio specializing in classic rock n roll from the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Corporate sponsorships for the event are available for $600 by contacting CAPA at 816-252-8388 or visiting www.childabuseprevention.org. Tables for eight guests may be purchased for $480.00 and individual tickets are priced at $60.00.