Hope’s Place is a victim-focused Children’s Advocacy Center that provides a safe atmosphere for the victim, lessens trauma and promotes healing by maximizing services through a multi-disciplinary team approach. Hope’s Place actively seeks to reduce the occurrence of sexual abuse and heighten awareness through prevention education. Our Center provides a victim-friendly, home-like environment, which is designed to meet the sexual abuse victim’s need for warmth, support and protection. Hope’s Place is where all agencies come together to meet the needs of sexually abused children by coordinating services for the common goal of prevention, intervention and accountability. Child sexual abuse is one of the most pervasive social problems faced by this society. Its impact is profound because of the sheer frequency with which it occurs and because of the trauma brought to the lives of children who experienced this crime. Historically, however, the sexual abuse of children was dismissed as a “family problem.”
The significant impact of childhood sexual abuse is unquestionable. This impact, however, speaks not only to the individual child victim of the crime, but also to the mental health community. There is no longer a question of whether child sexual abuse is a criminal justice problem or a social services problem or a mental health problem, for its power pervades the territory of each. The question must now lie in the resolve of all professionals to overcome skepticism with acknowledgment, disbelief with understanding, indifference with indignance, and reluctance to intervene with an unswayable intolerance of the victimization of all children.
Hope’s Place’ goals are to protect child victims of sexual abuse from harm, to provide remedial counseling for victims and their families, to minimize any further trauma, to protect society from the offender and to hold the offender accountable for his/her actions. Hope’s Place recognizes that effective child abuse intervention requires a cooperative effort between professionals in many agencies and disciplines.