For a child who has been sexually or physically abused, nothing is more terrifying than the thought of telling someone what has happened to them. Because most children know their abuser, they understand that their disclosure will forever alter life as they know it.
The criminal justice system — originally designed for adult defendants, not child victims – made it even more difficult for children to talk about their abuse. Children with the courage to tell what had happened to them were forced to undergo repeated questioning about the most traumatic event in their lives. They were interviewed and examined numerous times by police, medical providers, and social workers.
Despite the best efforts of these dedicated professionals, they were re-traumatizing the very children they were trying to help.
The Children’s Advocacy Center for Kaufman County was established to coordinate the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse cases across Kaufman county. Modeled on the simple but powerful concept of coordination between professionals involved in the system, the CAC preserves the dignity of child victims, maintains their trust, and ensures their best interests remain at the heart of every criminal investigation.
Each year, nearly 500 children come to the Children’s Advocacy Center to receive forensic interviews, counseling and advocacy support. All services are provided in a nurturing, friendly and safe environment at no cost to a child’s family.