LITTLE FLOCK, Ark. (KFTA) — A local children’s advocacy center says its seeing a record number of reports of physical and sexual abuse of children as more kids are coming forward during the holidays.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County says its seen over 40 kids this month, making December one of its busiest months.
Director of Development Brooke Boles says this doesn’t necessarily mean more kids are being abused, but more kids are reporting it.
This year the advocacy center focused on educating the community about the signs and symptoms of abuse and the resources available, like its 24/7 hotline.
“We’re empowering those kids to come forward, so there was a stigma not to come forward and to keep it to yourself, but we’re really trying to empower those kids to speak up so they can go to that next step and start that healing process,” Boles said.
Boles says so far this year 946 children have come forward because of physical or sexual abuse.
That’s up more than one hundred from 2017.
The center says for 2019 the goal is to continue outreach to erase the stigma of coming forward and getting help.