Our mission is to end child abuse in West Virginia.
At SHIELD Task Force, we believe this can be done by mobilizing a statewide coalition of law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, faith communities, professionals, and volunteers to educate the public, empower victims, stop predators, and support survivors.
Phase One — A Look Back
SHIELD Task Force began as a reporting initiative that brought together the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Marion County Child Advocacy Center, Fairmont Police Department, and additional educational and nonprofit entities.
Over the past two years, SHIELD members have presented to over 3,000 students in Marion County in school assemblies, educating students on essential topics and empowering them to report abuse. In fact, each assembly so far has resulted in immediate abuse disclosures.
In 2018, SHIELD pioneered the first annual Marion County Blue Sunday, an international day of prayer for abused and neglected children and those who rescue them. Several congregations and several thousand individuals participated as a result.
SHIELD has also held two panel events to foster discussion of these important issues in our local community.
Phase Two — Our Plans for 2019
Everything SHIELD accomplished in Phase One was done without formal funding. This year, we begin Phase Two with the following goals:
Transition SHIELD to a nonprofit corporation.
Secure the funding we need to continue our mission.
Form new partnerships in our local community.
Expand into other counties within the state.
Launch Survivor Tribe, a secure online support group.
Mobilize faith communities to address the abuse epidemic.
We will also continue to develop and refine age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention content for kindergarten through high school students. These school assembly presentations will fulfill legislation that mandates age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention education.
A recent SHIELD school assembly at West Fairmont School was featured in Module 1 of the Erin’s Law Abuse Prevention Training Series produced by WVCAN and the WV Department of Education: