Non Profit Organizations
WHAT WE DO/PROVIDE
Jackson County CAC provides FREE
-Individual therapy sessions
-Follow up and referral services
-Community Education and Prevention
-Multidisciplinary Team Response & case reviews
CAC’s provide a child-friendly, safe and neutral location in which law enforcement and DHR investigators may observe forensic interviews with children who are alleged victims of sexual abuse crimes, and where the child and non-offending family members receive support, crisis intervention and referrals for mental health and medical treatment. The multidisciplinary teams are made up of law enforcement officers, child protective service personnel, prosecutors, advocates, mental health therapists and medical personnel. The multidisciplinary team meets regularly to communicate and collaborate on the child’s case. Cases are reviewed beginning with the victim’s initial outcry through investigation, treatment and prosecution. The Child Advocacy Center’s main objective is to reduce trauma to child victims by bringing the team together and sharing information more efficiently to minimize duplication so the child doesn’t have to be re-victimized by telling their tragedy repeatedly to various sources that need to be involved. It is created to be a kid friendly welcoming atmosphere which is why it is typically located in a house and not a business/office type building.
A child forensic interview is a process where a child is given the opportunity to make a statement about what happened in a safe, supportive environment. The child is interviewed in a legally-sound, developmentally appropriate manner by a trained professional. Members of the multidisciplinary team that have jurisdiction over the case observe the interview as it is taking place. Interviews are recorded, reducing the number of times children need to be interviewed, therefore reducing trauma to the child. Information gathered in the forensic interview is used to help make decisions about protection, prosecution and treatment.
-90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser
-Most child victims delay or never disclose child sexual abuse to friends, family or authorities out of fear, guilt and shame (that is not theirs to bear)
- Children are most vulnerable to sexual abuse from the ages of 7-13
Sometimes it’s easy to hear national stats and fail to wrap our minds around the very real truth that in our beautiful caring community we also contribute to the statistics. So to make it more real and relevant … Please keep in mind the Jackson County specific information:
- Jackson County represents one of the largest counties in the State
- Jackson County is home to over 52,000 residents
- Since opening in August 2019, over 500 child victims have received over 2700 individual therapy sessions – over 290 forensic interviews were conducted.
- Jackson County DHR has received over 1,777 reports concerning the abuse or neglect of children
-An average of 111 children are in DHR custody
Based on this information its apparent there is a substantial need for the services in Jackson County.
LONG TERM EFFECTS OF SEXUAL CHILD ABUSE:
The severity of the trauma can result in:
Health and Behavioral Problems
Low self esteem
Suicide and/or self harming attempts
Drug and/or Alcohol Substance Abuse
High anxiety and psychological distress
Teenage Pregnancy – 45% of pregnant teens report a history of child abuse
Sexual Health problems – sexually transmitted disease
Educational problems – unable to focus concentrate fearful
Financial problems - leads to widespread community problem of poverty and low functioning adults