Why Does our County Need a CAC?
Children of every gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, family structure, socioeconomic status, immigration status, and geographic location are at risk of abuse.
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before turning 18
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before turning 18
- 1 in 5 children is sexually solicited while online
- Most children do not report the abuse
Teaching your child about "stranger danger" isn't enough.
- 90% of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
- 39% are abused by a family member.
The Benefits of a Children's Advocacy Center:
In the past, allegations of child abuse and exploitation were investigated independently by the various agencies necessarily involved in such cases. The child was subjected to repeated interviews by well-meaning social, legal, medical, mental health, and law enforcement agencies as they tried to address investigative and protective concerns. This process was insensitive to victims and resulted in duplication of effort, working at cross-purposes, and ineffective and delayed responses and intervention.
Today, a child can be brought to a CAC that recognizes the special, unique needs of child victims. CACs utilize a comprehensive, child-friendly, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team process. This fosters collaboration among the agencies involved to promptly and effectively evaluate the child's allegation with regard to protective and safety concerns, mental health issues, medical treatment, and possible criminal prosecution.
The Middlesex CAC was developed in recognition of the fact that child abuse and exploitation cases warrant special attention and knowledge that reaches beyond that which any one professional can provide.