Dec 12, 2013 8:07 PM
Lori Gaffney deals with child abuse every day.
But she says this year, more cases have come through the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center's doors than ever before.
"There's definitely an uptick," said Gaffney, Exective Director of the advocacy center.
A 55% increase, to be exact.
As of October, the center investigated 246 child abuse cases.
Go back to that same time last year- 154.
We asked why.
"Maybe part of this is a good thing that children in southern colorado are being taught to speak up about abuse and adults are listening to children and bringing these cases of abuse to law enforcement and social services," said Gaffney.
The down economy could also be a factor.
"That often times creates stress within the family, which can often manifest itself in anger and resulting in child abuse at times," said Pueblo Police Chief Deputy Troy Davenport.
The advocacy center says it's focusing on ways to raise more awareness-- with an in-school program called "Good Touch, Bad Touch."
"They are taught what's appropriate touching, what's not appropriate touching," said Gaffney.
At the end of the day, Gaffney hopes the center can help children and families move forward.
"Maybe they'll know that people care about them, that they're not alone here and that they'll be okay," said Gaffney.
To report abuse in Pueblo County call:
Department of Social Services: (719) 583-6901
Pueblo Police Department: (719) 553-2538
Pueblo County Sheriff's Office: (719) 583-6125