The Child Advocacy Center in Fayetteville has seen a 20 percent increase in child abuse cases in the past year and the staff is anticipating even more for 2021.
- Tonight, the effort to keep children safe. It's Child Abuse Awareness Month, and the Child Advocacy Center of Fayetteville tells us why they've seen a 20% increase in cases in the past year. And with kids back in class, they anticipate even more. All over Fayetteville, you'll see these pinwheels spinning in the wind, representing a child's life affected by abuse. It's a part of the Child Advocacy Center OF Fayetteville's child abuse awareness campaign. They're a nonprofit in the area providing services and resources for victims. And despite the pandemic, their work hasn't stopped.
TAMMY HYDE: We want them to be in a free environment, safe environment, so that they can grow and that they can prosper and that they have the support that they need.
- The center's Tammy Hyde says 2020 was a challenging year. While finding safe ways to provide services to victims and their families, the number of reported cases had risen substantially. And they expect those numbers to increase.
TAMMY HYDE: Cases are usually reported through the school system, so we know that the additional stresses of the pandemic, children being at home. Now that kids are back in school, unfortunately, we are anticipating a return or an increase in cases.
- Donors in the community support keep the center's programs running. But there's still a need for more resources. With fundraising events halted by COVID, the center hasn't been able to raise the extra funds they need, but they hope as the state opens up they can recruit more volunteers and return to holding annual events, ensuring that those in need can find a place of healing and hope.
TAMMY HYDE: You're seeing a child that unfortunately went through a horrendous experience. But you're seeing them able to come out on the other side stronger and encouraged and to be able to have the bright future ahead of them.
- And the Child Advocacy Center says that they are optimistic they will be able to hold their annual Pinwheel Masquerade Ball this coming October.