“Someone touched me” upsets everyone |
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of four articles submitted by Ashley’s
Place that will focus on child abuse and how to get help.
Imagine your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew sharing a secret that someone you trust sexually assaulted them.
Hearing these three words “someone touched me” upsets a family. Children do the right thing when they tell, but their world often falls apart around them. Amid the devastation, parents and caregivers seek help from the Child Advocacy Center and the Child Protection Investigative Team.
The overall goal of Ashley’s Place (Sumner Child Advocacy Center) is the happiness and well-being of children. Charged in 1999; the Center strives to provide comprehensive, coordinated and child-centered services to child victims and their families.
The Center offers a multidisciplinary team approach to the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases. This means that we believe that the combined knowledge of child protection services, law enforcement, prosecution, medical health professionals, mental health and victim advocacy services provides the answer. most effective in allegations of child abuse. Sumner County investigates an average of 420 serious child abuse cases per year; the majority of these being child sexual abuse.
The Center provides a child-friendly environment designed to create a level of comfort for children and families rather than being interviewed in police departments, schools and / or busy offices. It is important to create a level of comfort and privacy so that children feel comfortable sharing information about what has happened to them with the professionals identified to protect them.
The Center employs a trained forensic investigator who specializes in the dynamics of child abuse, child development and non-executive interviewing techniques. The forensic interview process is a developmentally sensitive process for gathering facts about what may have happened to the child by helping other team members provide a roadmap for next steps. The Center conducts an average of 250 forensic interviews with children per year.
Law enforcement officers and child protection service officers are able to observe the child’s forensic interview without exposing the child to several different professionals throughout the process. maintenance. This allows each member of the team to make sure that they get the information they need without asking the child to talk about traumatic events over and over.
Any child who has disclosed serious abuse is eligible for therapy services through the Child Advocacy Center. The Center offers specific therapy services focused on trauma; help children and families overcome and heal from the trauma they have suffered.
Our Victim Advocate makes sure families get the services they need. This position is crucial to ensure that children and families do not fall through the cracks and that they are emotionally supported and prepared for legal proceedings throughout the prosecution process.
PACK (Pups Adding Comfort for Kids) Ophira is a fully trained assistance dog certified by Canine Companions for Independence. It helps to decrease feelings of fear and anxiety as children, who have been abused, are questioned, participate in legal proceedings and therapy sessions. As a watchdog, she helps the children we serve feel safe and is a calming influence. This enhances our ability to fulfill our mission of providing comprehensive and responsive services to abused children.
Parents are devastated when their child’s innocence is violated. They often feel embarrassed, ashamed and betrayed. The Center gives them the opportunity to work with professionals responsible for investigating and prosecuting child sexual abuse while reducing victimization of their child.
Watch this month for more information on Ashley’s Place (Child Advocacy Center) to learn more about Darkness to Light’s 5 Steps to Protect Children and the work being done in Sumner County to protect and serve children and children. families.
For more information visit www.ashleysplace.net