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Robyn Peace, a therapist at CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) shows one of the drawings many of the children create to express

themselves. CALM hosted an open house Thursday to show the community what it does to help children in need.

An organization dedicated to ending child abuse opened the doors of its Santa Maria office to the public last week in an effort to raise awareness of the crime as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, staffers at CALM — for Child Abuse Listening Mediation — gave visitors tours of the therapy rooms and explained the programs and services offered by the office at 218 W. Carmen Lane, Suite 108.

Visitors also were told about how abuse affects children and saw drawings abused children made to help them express their emotions.

The staff also received a proclamation from Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino during a brief program.

CALM was founded in 1970 to reach stressed parents before they hurt their children, an agency spokeswoman said.

It is the only nonprofit agency in Santa Barbara County focusing solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive programs, the spokeswoman said.

Children, families and adults are offered a safe, nonjudgmental, strength-based environment to heal and improve family well-being.

CALM will host an online public auction, starting Tuesday and continuing through April 30, for items ranging from a getaway to Park City, Utah, to gift certificates to top local restaurants.

Funds raised by the auction will go directly to CALM’s programs and services to prevent, assess and treat child abuse, the spokeswoman said.

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