Childhood should be a happy time for children, but for many kids, that is not the case. Child abuse is an issue we must face, not only across the United States but right here in our community.
Adriana didn’t grow up in a loving home with a safe environment. Tragically, she grew up with both of her parents abusing and neglecting her. When she was 13, Adriana was placed in foster care with her Aunt Maye, who was supportive and tried her best to provide a structured environment.
One day, Maye checked Adriana’s social media account on her phone, and was shocked to discover instant messages that talked about Adriana engaging in sexual activities with adult men. Maye frantically reported what she found to the Department of Human Services (DHS). From there, Adriana and Maye were referred to ABC House for a forensic evaluation and support services.
Sadly, at ABC House, stories like Adriana’s are not uncommon. Each year, we help hundreds of children in crisis, though we know many more need our services. The child abuse victim rate is increasing in both Linn and Benton counties, and the demand for ABC House services continues to grow, but with your help—we can get closer.
Now more than ever, your support is needed to ensure children in crisis will receive the help they need to move past the impact of abuse. ABC House is working on expanding key staff positions that will enable more children in crisis to receive help, comfort and safety, but we need your help to achieve this. Your renewed commitment will mean vulnerable children will have the essential services they need now and hope for a brighter future.
Adriana was welcomed to ABC House with warmth and compassion, but she still felt uncomfortable and refused all services. Staff members reassured her that she was in control of her appointment – if she didn’t want to move forward with a service, her choice would be respected and no one was going to force her.
After she had some time to think, she agreed to speak with one of ABC House’s physicians. They were able to openly talk about STDs, risks of unprotected sex, and the importance of healthy boundaries. During Adriana’s visit, the staff at ABC House built rapport and trust with her, and three days later, Adriana told her Aunt Maye that she felt ready to return to ABC House for a medical exam and interview.
At its heart, abuse takes control away from its victim, from a child. At ABC House, kids call the shots. There is no set agenda when we see a child and no expected outcome. We strive to ensure that children feel safe and respected at all times throughout their visit.
YOU make it possible for ABC House staff to spend quality time with children, without rushing the process. YOU make it possible for children to feel comfortable enough to accept help.
Will you take action today to help children like Adriana? Children and families in crisis cannot wait—renewing your support for increasing numbers of children who need abuse assessments and support services will directly make a positive difference in their lives. There is no better investment in a child’s future!
Your gift makes hope and healing possible. Thank you so much for your most generous donation.
Your giving will bring the joy of living back for children like Adriana and her family throughout the year. Your investment will mean a brighter future for children in our community. Thank you for your caring support!