The Child Advocacy Center of Central Texas is asking for the community’s help in preventing child abuse in Central Texas.
Far too often the most vulnerable and innocent amongst us fall prey to abuse by the very people that are supposed to protect them, tragically creating the need for the folks at the Child Advocacy Center of Central Texas.
"We meet with law enforcement, child protective services, and we do forensic interviews. So, what we do is have the child tell the story once. This way they don’t have to tell the story to the school counselor and then to the police officer and then to the CPS,” said Executive Director Debra Longley.
The goal is to lessen the trauma that comes with sharing abuse. It's one step survivors know all too well.
"I was afraid," said Tamara Jones, child abuse survivor. "I thought he would kill but I thought, I don’t want this anymore. I don’t care if he kills, I’m telling.”
Jones suffered years of sexual a physical abuse at the hands of her stepfather and when she finally spoke, further abuse came from somewhere she never expected.
"My mother turned on me, not on him," said Jones. "She said I was trying to break up her marriage. So, I never got counseling. I was never consoled. My mother never approached me and said, what happened? Did he hurt you? Are you okay?”
That's why organizations like the Children's Advocacy Center are crucial in the fight against child abuse and they need to need the community’s help in that fight.
"It’s a community problem. It's a community challenge and the more that the community knows about what we do, the more they can join alongside and help us prevent child abuse,” said Longley.
While they do get some funding through grants, they still need to raise money and that is where the Central Texas community can play its part.
"Just by donating. You can go to our website and donate. You can go to our Facebook and donate. You can write us a check. Any way that you would like to donate, we would love to have that.” said Longley.