“Preventing child abuse” — That’s what this week’s Loving Giving Local donation will help do.

Every year in Erie County there are about a thousand cases of suspected child abuse. 300 of those victims and their families come here to the Children’s Advocacy Center.

It’s part of the response in Erie County to child abuse allegations.

“We have a children-friendly location where children come to be interviewed by specially trained interviewers as part of the investigative process, and we connect the families and the children to the help in the community: medical, mental health, victim advocacy and support. We do all those things. We also make effort to try to prevent child abuse,” said Michael Gaines, CACA executive director.

This week’s Loving Giving Local donation will help the Children’s Advocacy Center expand its child abuse prevention programs.

“We have a parenting program — ACT Raising Safe Kids Program — we run. And we also do a number of other things as part of our prevention. We’re trying to expand our prevention activities,” Gaines added.

“Our donation today is going toward a prevention program that will bring awareness to it and hopefully prevent some of the abuse right here in our community. That’s what Loving Giving Local is all about,” said Joe Askins, sponsor, Auto Express Superstore.

Unfortunately, the number of local cases of child abuse remains steady. The work done at the center helps comfort victims and their families.

“Every time a child has to recount the story, it retraumatizes them. We have a situation where we have someone who knows how to speak to the child that won’t traumatize them and record the interview so investigators can use it. That way the child doesn’t have to keep repeating the story,” Gaines continued.

To report a suspected case of child abuse, call the Pennsylvania Childline at 1-800-932-0313.