BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — An organization that helps abused children needs your help to win a grant for extra funding to help kids feel safe.
Kids who are in abusive situations are brought to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hernando County.
"We deal with a lot of children who have been physically abused or sexually abused," said Lt. William Power, with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Power says instead of interviewing the child at the sheriff’s office, a therapist speaks with the child a the center while detectives watch over video in a different room. A physical exam is also recorded for law enforcement, all under one roof.
"That really prevents the child from being re-victimized by telling their story over and over," said Janine Hammett, director.
Their goal is for the child to feel safe after going through something traumatic. Hammett remembers a specific child they helped.
"She was so terrified. Screaming, crying, she didn’t want to be here, and by the time she left she didn’t want to leave. So that really is one of the cases that has stuck with me because we made her feel so safe here," said Hammett.
Justine Alemany does therapy with part of the 120 kids a week that need help from abuse trauma.
"Our therapists give them the opportunity to have a trusting adult in their lives," said Alemany.
All of the center’s services are free, but they need help paying for new therapy toys and new bedding for children who are sexually abused.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help by going to the Aftermath website and voting daily by clicking on the girl with a dog picture for the center to win a $5,000 grant.
The sheriff's office says you have to enter your name and email address but you will not receive emails. You can vote once a day until August 4.