Conte, wife of Gov. Phil Bredesen,
was in town speaking at the Tennessee Victim Assistance Conference about her
Andrea Walks for Tennessee that raised awareness of child sexual abuse and
raised money for child advocacy centers.
Work is currently underway locally to establish the SafeHarbor Child Advocacy Center for children in Sevier, Jefferson, Cocke and Grainger counties
Conte said such centers are vital for helping the
government be more effective by coordinating investigations into child abuse
Child Advocacy Centers
In September 2004, Conte began her walk across
"We were so
Conte showed pictures of the people she met along the way and the schools she visited. She said she was very moved by all the children who understood what was going on and helped raise money - many of them in poor areas.
"It was just so heartwarming to see that happen," she said.
Students alone - many of whom had been abused or had a friend they knew in an abusive situation - raised more than $16,000, according to Conte.
"They wanted to help each other," she said.
Conte told of a man who passed by on the road one day and pulled over in his old, beat-up car to give $3.
"I know he
Conte is the founder of "You Have The Power," which raises awareness of abuse and
One of her most recent focuses has been on children in homes where meth is being cooked.
"They're put at horrible risk," she said.
For more information about You Have The Power, visit yhtp.org or call (615) 292-7027.
The Tennessee Victim Assistance Conference, held at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, will be held in