Hope’s Place is a victim-focused, children’s advocacy center that provides a safe atmosphere, lessens trauma and promotes healing by maximizing services through a multi-disciplinary team approach for child victims of sexual abuse. Hope’s Place actively seeks to reduce the occurrence of sexual abuse and heighten awareness through prevention education.
Statistics show that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by the time they are 18. In other words; 400, 000 babies born this year in the United States will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Children are the victims in 66% of all sexual offenses reported to law enforcement. It is estimated that this crime is severely underreported and that the actual numbers are much higher.
Sexual abuse is a genderless crime void of socioeconomic limitations. Studies show up to 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser and 60% of children who are sexually abuse are abused by people the family knows and trusts!
What is a Children’s Advocacy Center?
A Children’s Advocacy Center typically has a multi-disciplinary team of medical and mental health personnel, child protective services, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers who work together to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion. The Center is a child-friendly place where child victims and families can receive needed services such as parent support groups, counseling, and crisis intervention. Trained personnel are available to work with families traumatized by child abuse and can also help bridge the gap between social services and the Criminal Justice System. Children’s Advocacy Centers have proven to be effective and successful in meeting needs of children and families who have experienced sexual abuse. Hope’s Place is a Children’s Advocacy Center.
Hope’s Place is focused on providing support and services to victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending caregivers. We aim to do this in a victim friendly environment that addresses the physical and mental health needs of the victims we are servicing. In order to do this, all professionals with whom a victim may encounter during the resolution of their abuse disclosure must make a joint and cooperative effort to minimize the system adding to further victimization.
Hope’s Place believes that the response of the systems and professionals to whom victims are exposed will dramatically impact the victim’s ability to recover from their experience. The aftermath of an abuse disclosure can be daunting and dramatic in itself. Victims and their families are often required to manage multiple agency demands as they navigate medical, legal, child protective services, and mental health services. It is the mission of Hope’s Place to reduce possible additional trauma and turmoil by assisting in coordinating these services in one setting, where the victim’s needs are the priority.