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When we first met 9-year old Claudette, she had just summoned the courage to tell her mother a terrifying secret: that her violin teacher had been forcing her to perform sex acts during private lessons. Claudette was fearful and ashamed, and afraid that she may not be believed.
Instead of having to tell her scary story in a police precinct and or at a busy emergency room, she was brought to Safe Horizon’s Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center. A warm, comforting place filled with toys and books and puzzles, the center brings together all the experts and services that Claudette needs the police, prosecutors, pediatricians, child protective workers and counselors under one roof. Claudette, her siblings and parents received immediate and compassionate care and are beginning the healing process.
Because of Claudette’s courage to speak out, the abuse stopped and her violin teacher has been arrested. The case is proceeding through the criminal justice system. Claudette has not lost her love of music.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.