Lisa, a 12-years-old child, had suffered horrific abuse at the hands of someone she and her parents had trusted. She found the courage to report it. Because of that report, she and her parents came to one of our Child Advocacy Centers.
The abuse had deeply affected Lisa, and it became clear just how much when she met with one of our counselors. Lisa told the counselor that she often thought of killing herself. She felt so confused and lonely, she thought it would be better for her parents and everyone if she just went away.
Imagine how devastated and hopeless Lisa felt. Then, imagine if Lisa had to deal with those feelings on her own. This is why the Child Advocacy Centers are around – to provide children with care and services when they urgently need them. Our expert team of counselors and clinicians, working alongside police detectives, district attorney office representatives, child protective service workers, and medical partners, can not only listen to a child: They can act to make sure a child stays safe.
Lisa’s counselor spoke with her parents about what Lisa said, and they agreed that Lisa should go the hospital, where our medical partners would provide more help. Though it was late that day, our counselor went with Lisa’s parents and stayed with them as the psychiatrist examined Lisa. Thankfully, Lisa did not need to stay at the hospital. Yet thanks to her counselor’s help, she was linked to outpatient mental health treatment that would give her and her parents the services Lisa needed.
Lisa’s parents were grateful to have our counselor stay with them and provide the emotional and practical support they needed to help their child. And I am grateful that you are at our side, making sure Safe Horizon can be there for children who deserve the help, the healing, and the safety we can give them to find brighter, safer futures.
* Client names and identifying information have been changed to protect their privacy. Images used are representations of Safe Horizon’s clients.