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As the second Child Abuse Awareness March organized by 11-year-old Elijah Lee approaches Saturday, the Roanoke Rapids Police Department says it stands behind the efforts of the KIPP Gaston College Preparatory School student’s efforts.

The march will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Centennial Park off Roanoke Avenue.

“The Roanoke Rapids Police Department is proud to support this young man and his fight against child abuse,” said interim Chief Bobby Martin.

Martin said this afternoon, “We’ve got a fifth-grader who’s taken it upon himself to reach out to the community and educate them on child abuse. For someone that young to take that kind of interest and is passionate about child abuse we absolutely stand behind him.”

Martin said child abuse is often unspoken by children “because of fear children have about coming forward. It’s often undetected because they are afraid to approach someone. It’s often someone from the outside who detects it. We’re going to have as many officers as we can there because we believe in his cause and him taking initiative at a young age.”