LITTLE FLOCK, AR -- - Seventeen years ago the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County opened its doors, providing a number of services to help victims of sexual and physical abuse. The Center shared how the it works to help children make the difficult transition from victim to survivor.
"It's just not easy to talk about," explained Benton County Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director Natalie Tibbs.
Child abuse is a very real problem and the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County provides the support young victims need to deal with the emotional and physical scars it causes.
"To think about a child being neglected, physically abused, beaten, to be sexually abused, murdered; those are the worst case things that we could ever imagine," Tibbs pointed out. "But they are happening in our community."
Tibbs said the Center's core mission is focused on empowering children to find their voice. Recent cases, like the murder of six-year-old Isaiah Torres -- which resulted in the death penalty for his father and life in prison for his mother, get a lot of public attention. However those high profile cases only scratch the surface of the vast numbers the Center sees.
"We're bringing light to the issue of child abuse," Tibbs proclaimed.
The Children's Advocacy Center has eliminated the need for children to talk to multiple people or agencies by streamlining the whole process under one roof.
"They are taken to one place and where everybody comes to them, where that child now becomes the focus," Tibbs explained.
On March 31st the center's advocacy will become more visual when they place hundreds of pinwheels around the area, kicking off the Cherishing Children Pinwheel rally.
"We have about 18 different agencies across Benton County that are going to be hosting the pinwheels," Tibbs said. "And there are going to be 439 pinwheels at each location, which represent a confirmed case of child abuse within our area from last year."
There are a number of ways you can show your support for the Children's Advocacy Center and the kids they serve. You can learn about the Glow run that's happening on April 21st -- which includes a kids superhero dash, a chip-timed 5-K and a chip-timed 10-K by clicking here. For more on the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County and its mission, click here.
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