Pastor raises awareness about child abuse

Flyers call to attention month dedicated to prevention.

April 9, 2010 

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY LISA JAMES Dave Lockridge is the founder of ACE Overcomers a group that will be passing out flyers with the help of volunteers in Atwater on Saturday to promote Child abuse awareness. April 8, 2010

MERCED SUN-STAR

Dave Lockridge, 56, has his work cut out for him this weekend.

The Shiloh Baptist Church pastor plans to hand out fliers to 9,000 homes in Atwater to help raise awareness about child abuse prevention as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Lockridge is the founder of a new community-based organization, Adverse Childhood Experience Overcomers, or more simply, ACE Overcomers.

He said he hopes 100 volunteers come out to help him with the task.

The group, which is seeking nonprofit status, acts as a support group for teens and adults who experienced abuse as children.

The group meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Atwater.

"We discuss the different forms of abuse, neglect, emotional and physical," he said. "All of these have tremendous detrimental effects on them in life."

Abused children often grow into adults who become abusers, Lockridge said. His effort is a way to break that cycle.

ACE Overcomers partnered with the Merced Human Services Agency and the Child Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Council to create the bilingual fliers.

The group, which is based in Atwater, decided to start its campaign there, but are planning to focus efforts on other cities soon.

Interested volunteers can meet at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at 1510 Winton Way in Atwater. For more information, call Dave Lockridge at (209) 617-4688.

Reporter Jamie Oppenheim can be reached at (209)385-2407 or joppenheim@mercedsun-star.com.