Children Are Heard Here
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) are safe, child-centered facilities where a child can tell their story. CACs bring together prosecutors, law enforcement, protective services, and medical providers to investigate abuse. With all of these resources working together, a child recounts their story just once to a person specially trained to take their statement.
Children Can Heal Here
The ability of the child to heal will be greatly influenced by what happens after they disclose. In addition to helping the child to tell their story, Children’s Advocacy Centers ensure that a family isn’t left by themselves to figure out how to cope. CACs work with parents and other non-offending caregivers to identify ways to nurture healthy relationships with and promote resiliency in the child. CACs also provide access to mental health services to help victims become survivors, and more importantly, helping survivors get back to their childhoods.
These services are provided at no cost to the families.
It's more common than you think
Nearly 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
It's estimated that only 30% of sexual assault cases are reported to authorities.
1 in 6 girls and 1 in 33 boys ages 0-17 will be sexually assaulted by another young person.
91% of victims know their abuser.
2/3 of all reported sex offenses nationwide are against children ages 0-17.
1 in 7 youth internet users received unwanted sexual solicitations.
What are the signs?
What to Do
Limit the number of people who can have one-on-one access to your child.
Give your child permission to say “No” to situations that make them uncomfortable, and empower them to voice their body-safety rules.
Observe & Listen
Pay attention to signs of abuse in kids and suspicious behaviors in others.
Kids who have been abused tend to hint about what happened because they are unsure what they should share or how you will react.
Trust them. If your gut is telling you not to leave your kid with someone, don't. If you notice your child's mood or behavior change before or after they've been with someone, ask questions.
Get the word out about child abuse. Let people know how common it is and how they can protect the children in their lives. If you suspect abuse, call 855.444.3911.
Find a Local CAC
Over the last three years,
Michigan CACs served 28,822 children.
It’s not the end of the story
Human beings have an amazing capacity for healing. The impact trauma of child sexual abuse does not need to be permanent. Just as traumatic stress can change “brain circuitry,” resilience can restore and reshape what is possible.
Resilience is not a character trait, but the ability to overcome. Resilience is the human spark inside each of us that is supported by our community.
Resilience comes from a belief in yourself and an understanding of your value. It’s nurtured through positive and healthy relationships with family, friends, and mentors. It’s fanned by a sense of meaning and purpose. Resilience is the goal of our work with the kids and families who come through our doors.
Kids are able to do more than get through trauma. Many of them come through stronger.
What to do next?
Learn more about The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Michigan
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This project was supported by Federal Award 2018-V2-GX-0067 from the Department of Justice, administered by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Victim Services.