FAYETTEVILLE, AR-Children's advocacy centers in northwest Arkansas are fighting to restore funds, after $19 million in federal budget cuts. The cuts were taken from the Victims of Child Abuse Act which funds children's advocacy centers across the country.
The executive director for the children's advocacy center in Benton County says the cut makes preventing child abuse tougher.
"One of our goals is that no child falls through the cracks, but I can guarantee you that children are going to fall through the cracks, " Executive Director Beverly Engle said.
The Benton County C.A.C. sees an average of 15 sexually abused children each week.
"If you have that lack of staff, that's that lack of follow up for the ones that came in last week, that were crisis. And maybe not even just last week, but the ones that were here three months ago and six months ago, " Engle said.
The cash in question also helps with training caregivers to recognize abuse. A recent study shows child abuse costs tax payers $124 billion each year.
"They're going to pay for it one way or another. Where do you want to put your money? Do you want to put it on prevention and detection, versus mental health services or those kinds of things, " Engle said.
Officials advise if a child says something that may raise an eye brow, take it seriously, and contact the child abuse hotline immediately.