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Families offered fun day in park

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Skylar Banks, 5, left, celebrates with Trillium representative Keith Letchworth after knocking over all the pins while playing a game of tether bowling Saturday during the Twin Counties Domestic Violence Task Force Family Fun Day at Sunset Park.

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BY COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A local annual event to promote family activity and provide useful information pertaining to domestic violence and other health-related topics was held on Saturday at Sunset Park.

The Twin Counties Domestic Violence Task Force held its fourth annual Family Fun Day, which consisted of children being able to enjoy playing in the spray park arena, going on the merry-go-round carousel and on the train ride. Parents and children also were given free hot dogs, juice and chips at the event.

Amy Hamlett, director of Nash County Department of Social Services, said the free family fun day is usually done in April around National Child Abuse Prevention Month, but was postponed and moved to August because of rain during that time. Marva Scott, director of Edgecombe County Department of Social Services, said the event has traditionally drawn around 600 people.

Scott said the Task Force thought it was a wonderful idea several years ago to give families a fun day and also be educated about domestic violence.

Scott was part of the group that started the Twin Counties Domestic Violence Task Force that is made up of a combination of the Nash and Edgecombe Counties’ Department of Social Services. Other partnering agencies include both Nash and Edgecombe Counties’ Health Departments, My Sister’s House and other entities across the Twin Counties.

Scott also said domestic violence is one of those hidden issues that people really don’t want to talk about that exists, and the Task Force meets normally monthly or every other month to talk about how their services can be distributed to families that are need.

The goal of the event was to help parents or people coming to become more aware about the issue of domestic violence in the Twin Counties. Hamlett said people sometimes make assumptions about domestic violence.

“Sometimes people look at only someone in poverty going through domestic violence, but you have professional people or people in church that are in domestic violence situations,” Scott said. “This event is a good opportunity for people to come out and we can slip things in about domestic violence.”

The event had different representatives from several local community organizations across the Twin Counties that had booths filled with brochures and information on mental health, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, adoption, child behavior and a variety of other issues.

Parent Jennifer Hammett, who took her four children to the event, said she was pleased to see so many different community resources available in one place that people might not be aware of in the area.

Law enforcement and public safety agencies such as the Rocky Mount Fire Department, Nash County Emergency Medical Services, Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office and Rocky Mount Police Department were on hand interacting with children and parents at the event.

“Domestic violence is one of the major calls that we go to on a constant basis,” said Cpl. Brad Summerlin of the Rocky Mount police. “We deal with domestic violence situations involving victims and kids, so it’s important for an event like this to educate and show the seriousness of domestic violence. This allows us to build our community partnerships throughout the city and county to work with victims of domestic violence, so it’s critical we’re out here showing our support. I think it’s also wonderful that you’ve got so many other different resources out here for citizens to tap into that shows them they have the support of the community as a whole.”

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