Child Advocacy Center looks back and forward

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center in Troy conducted more interviews in 2015 than ever before.

Camille Downing, CAC executive director, said the center conducted 210 forensic interviews during the year, which was both a negative and a positive.

“In the past, on an average, the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, conducts between 100 and 146 interviews a year,” Downing said. “So, 210 interviews was a dramatic increase and that was a negative. The positive is that more people – including parents, grandparents and also referrals from schools — are reporting things they are seeing and hearing that don’t seem right. We attribute that to greater public awareness of child abuse and we are getting assistance in getting children out of those situations. Increased public awareness is making a difference.”

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The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center staff is making plans for its largest annual public awareness and fundraising campaign in April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Our T-shirts that celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month are available now,” Downing said. “We usually begin selling the T-shirts in April but we would like for people to begin wearing them now as a way of promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month.”

The T-shirts are navy and white and come in short and long sleeves and in sizes youth to 4X. All shirts are $15 each and may be purchased by calling 334-670-0487, visiting the CAC at 118 West Orange Street in Troy or online at

“You may order and pay online so that’s an easy and convenient way to shop,” Downing said. “All purchases of T-shirts are tax deductible.”

The CAC is also seeking organizational, business and corporate sponsorships in any amount.

“Sponsorships are needed and greatly appreciated,” she said. “Schools, churches and civic and social organizations are encouraged to consider sponsorships as well as businesses and industries.”

Sponsorships are available through the Pike Regional CAC on site or by calling 670-0487. All sponsors will be recognized on the CAC website and at the April celebration.

There are other ways to support the local CAC including donations of clothing for boys and girls.

“We have had donations of DVDs for the children to watch here at the CAC and even lunch boxes,” Downing said. “There are many ways to support the CAC and we appreciate them all.”

The CAC will celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month in April and at a time when children can participate.

“To make that happen, our celebration could be held on Saturday,” Downing said. “The CAC is all about children and the prevention of abuse involving them.

“We want the celebration to be all about children.”

The Pike Regional CAC serves Pike, Coffee, Bullock and Barbour counties with courtesy interviews conducted in Crenshaw and Butler counties.