Child abuse declines -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Child abuse declines

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The number of child abuse cases nationwide is down for the third year in a row.

In Lowndes County, the numbers dropped some, but child advocates say child abuse remains a serious problem.

"They've helped us through our situation," said a mother of a child abuse victim.

A south Georgia mother doesn't want us to identify her because her child is a victim of abuse. "It can affect your family in ways you never expected. It can pull you apart or draw you closer."

The Children's Advocacy Center in Lowndes County can help victims and their families heal process by providing treatment and therapy.

"We work with DFACS, law enforcement and the D.A.'s office to really look into that reported abuse," said Brenda Hodges, the CAC executive director. "We provide the forensic interview and we just help the family through the process."

And while child abuse may be on the decline, the Children's Advocacy Center wants you to know it's still out there. They had about 400 cases last year.

The center primarily deals with sexual abuse.

Hodges says part of the reason child abuse across the nation is declining programs put in place in many communities that strengthen families.

"Not just the communities, but state and federal governments are providing funding because they see the need to strengthen families," said Hodges.

In 2009 and 2008 there were 1000 child abuse cases reported in Lowndes County, but last year that number dropped to 915.

"The cases we see here at the CAC are just heart wrenching," said Hodges.

While child abuse is still a problem, the Children's Advocacy Center is here to help.

Advocates say child abuse occurs across all racial and socio-economic groups.

To find out more about resources to help victims, click here.

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