“With the vast attention on child sex abuse because of the Sandusky/Penn State incident, and the announced penalties from the NCAA, we felt it was critical to remind parents and communities of the need to focus on protecting children,” offered Dr. John Wyble, Executive Director for CAC Louisiana, “The real victims here are the children who suffered at the hands of the abuser.”
National studies have found that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Of those children victimized, 90% know the abuser and often the abuser will work to establish a relationship with the child as well as the child’s family.
“As a community we must recognize the need to protect our children and provide the depth of services needed for a child to fully recover when victimized. Without proper services, such as counseling, unfortunately child victims may not have the opportunity to fully heal,” offered Dr. Wyble.
Child victims served through a CAC are three times more likely to receive the counseling they need than those children in communities without a Children’s Advocacy Center. Each year, CACs provide services to over 10,000 abused children in Louisiana, including forensic interviews for some 4,000 children who have been sexually abused. CACs rely heavily on financial support from individuals in local communities.
A children’s advocacy center is a child-focused, facility-based program in which representatives from the investigative team work together to conduct interviews and make team decisions about investigation, treatment, management and prosecution of child abuse cases. CACs are modeled on the simple but powerful concept of coordination between community agencies and professionals involved in the intervention system so further trauma to the child is minimized.
To learn more about CACs, or find your local Center, visit our website at www.cacla.com.