In 2021, LKNConnect will feature outstanding non-profits and service organizations in the Lake Norman community. Margi Kyle, Director of Non-Profits at LKNConnect and Founder of Little Smiles NC, will be sharing these great organizations with you. — EH Stafford, Managing Editor


“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun;

not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.”

–Dave Pelzer



The darkness of child abuse is obscured by an intricate web of circumstances. The child, a helpless victim, is caught by fears, self-doubts, and an inability to articulate. Recrimination is a tangle of its own. Emotions run the gamut from accepting/deserving to internalization. Unfortunately, the phrase “if you tell” causes greater confusion and consequences. The implications, complications, and solutions are complicated. Child abuse generally does not have a single cause. Many abusive parents grew up in abusive situations without positive role models. The lack of healthy parenting makes it challenging to develop healthy relationships. All too often an adult’s experiences, a series of multifaceted, interrelated issues, creates bad behaviors. Sadly, child abuse is cyclical.



April is Child Abuse Prevention month

Child abuse and neglect are generally defined in tandem. Abuse can be a single incident or multiple issues that reoccur. Abuse falls into four categories — physical, emotional, sexual, and neglect. Most often abuse overlaps. The nightmare of child abuse should not continue. Abuse is difficult to ascertain and equally difficult to correct. There is help for both the adults and the children. The most challenging step is admitting a problem exists. Once a breakthrough occurs, there are multiple avenues for help.







Awareness and prevention

The National Exchange Club officially adopted the Prevention of Child Abuse as its National Project in 1979. Exchange provides a variety of public awareness materials. This material is designed to help inform and increase awareness. The most significant method of countering child abuse is by working with at-risk parents. The Exchange Parent Aide home visitation model creates a nationwide network of community-based Centers for the Prevention of Child Abuse. This program has helped over 700,000 families, creating safer homes for over 1.8 million children.







Pharos Parenting — A light in the darkness

Pharos Parenting in Statesville is an Exchange Parent Aid Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse. Their mission is to build hope for children and families through education. They offer counseling and intervention programs to end the cycle of child abuse and neglect. Pharos is a beacon that guides parents through the rough waters of parenthood.





Methods of prevention

There are many things we can do to help prevent child abuse. Here are some of them:

  • Keep everyone mentally and physically healthy.
  • Watch our words.Use language that promotes positive situations for both children and adults to help avoid confrontation or escalation.
  • Regain physical and mental control before disciplining. Take an “adult time-out” to cool off and formulate a calm approach. Take a step back to prevent an abusive situation.
  • If things seem out of control or you are unsure, it is ok to Ask for Help. That admission is a monumental step in preventing abuse. There are support groups and agencies offering their services.



Feeling overwhelmed and out of control produces the darkness of child abuse. Seeking help and turning things around lets in the sunshine of childhood. 



For more information on Pharos Parenting in Statesville, visit



Photos courtesy of Katie Stankiewicz and Pixabay


Katie Stankiewicz is the founder of Willow Equine and executive director of Soul to Soles Connection.

The Exchange Club of Mooresville / Lake Norman is a civic organization, who works to create a strong and united community. They have been serving the Lake Norman area for over 30 years, with a focus on Americanism, Community Service, Prevention of Child Abuse and Youth. If you or anyone you know have been looking for a way to connect and give back, join the club! 

Go to our website at for more information. Select “Join the Club” under the ‘Menu’ section for an member application. You can also email the club through the Contact Us’ menu selection. 



If you know of a non-profit organization that you would like featured …

Contact Margi Kyle, at




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