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Violence conference aimed at helping Quad City kids

Shock and sadness just hours after a Davenport woman was gunned down in her home on June 22, 2013.

"What it can do to a family is unbelievable," said the victim's brother, Brandon Abbott, at the time.

Amanda Abbott, 25, a Navy veteran, was trying to make a new life for her family. But those dreams were shattered by a bullet.

Her five year old daughter discovered the tragic scene and tried to wake her deceased mother.

"Guns aren't anything to be taken lightly," Brandon continued. "They will hurt and devastate a family."

That devastation, according to Dr. Tiffany Stoner-Harris, can hurt kids as much as the victim.

"Being in that environment, being exposed to that trauma, they can still be impacted just as severely as if it happened to them directly," she said.

Reasons why more than 200 professionals and providers searched for answers on Thursday, March 13. This Child Abuse Council conference is a beginning point.

While these traumas keep happening, it's positive that communities are learning more about them. It's all about early outreach.

"The earlier we can intervene and provide supports for the family, the better," said Angie Kendall, Child Abuse Council.

School violence, like the Sandy Hook shooting, brings the subject painfully close to home.

"We think, they're kids -- they'll get over it," Kendall said. "That isn't true."

Amanda Abbot's death didn't end the grief for her family and friends.

"She cherished her daughter," Brandon said.

Senseless violence in neighborhoods that's prompting a lasting discussion.

"Telling children you live in a community where people care," Kendall concluded.

A community mission that reaches from the playground and all across the Quad Cities.

For more information about programs and services, visit the Child Abuse Council's website or call (309) 786-1466.

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