Child Advocacy

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month! This semester I am in the W.W. Caruth Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic at school which means I am both the Attorney Ad Litem and Guardian Ad Litem for three children. This means I represent them and their best interests in the cases they are involved with. All the cases are involving termination of the parental rights because of child abuse. 

A few weeks ago I toured the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center which brings the police, prosecutors, doctors, and therapists together under one roof to help serve the children and innocent family members who have been affected by child abuse. 

Did you know…?
Only 1 in 10 children tell about abuse. They often believe the abuse is their fault and they will get in trouble if they tell. 

90% of the time children are abused by someone they know, trust, and love

Some possible effects of abuse are depression, eating disorders, withdrawal, regressive behavior, blurred boundaries, low self-esteem, and poor social skills

The different kinds of abuse are: Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect, and Emotional Abuse. 

The DCAC is frankly an amazing place. 
 This is the “courtroom” that they use to show kids what it looks like before they take a field trip to an actual courtroom.
 How adorable is this chair that one of the children painted?
This is the “closet” where kids who come in and go directly to foster care get outfitted. Everything in this room, and it’s about 5x this size is donated. Some of these children haven’t had new-to-them shoes in three years and they walk out with backpacks and a suitcase full of clothes and books and a stuffed animal. It truly is awesome. 

You are mandated by LAW to report suspected child abuse as soon as it is suspected. If you are a professional (lawyer, doctor, teacher, psychologist etc) you have 48 hours to make a report or you can be prosecuted. 

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

Did you know you are mandated by law to report?