COVID-19 has upended all of our lives in so many ways, and one of the more staggering statistics is the impact the pandemic has had on domestic violence. According to Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), domestic violence calls in Tennessee rose by 50 percent. Child abuse calls decreased by 20 percent, but that’s not the good news some may assume it is.
“Due to school closures and social isolation, fewer teachers and caring adult observers were seeing endangered children on a daily basis,” says CASA organizers. “As communities have reopened and there are more eyes on children, Davidson County Juvenile Court has seen a 350 percent increase in reported crimes against children, and many of those cases are more serious than ever before.”
For more than 35 years, CASA has been supporting and protecting foster children who have suffered abuse and neglect, and it’s clear their efforts are even more vital now. With April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month, CASA is going all-out to host a month-long fundraiser to raise essential funds and awareness.
The Totally ’80s Belated Birthday Bash — making up for last year’s canceled party — features an online auction and a call for donations, which will be used to “help CASA provide highly trained volunteers to advocate on behalf of children who have been removed from their parental homes due to abuse or neglect.”
The really cool part is, since CASA supporters aren’t able to gather in person for the usual fundraising dinner, that any donation of $250 or more will be used to “pay it forward” and surprise a foster family with their own catered dinner! In true ’80s fashion, you can also give $100 to join Punky’s Power Club.