About Our Organization
The MercyOne Child Advocacy Center provides comprehensive and caring services to all victims of child abuse by helping to create a safe environment for Siouxland's children. We provide medical exams, forensic interviews, expert witnesses for court testimony, public educators, mental health counseling and support for victims and non-offending care givers. The CAC provides education for the prevention of child abuse to assist in breaking the cycle and works in collaboration with social services, law enforcement, prosecution and others. We serve over 800 children per year. 70% are alleging sexual abuse; 60% are girls; 80% are under the age of 12 and 40% are under age 6.
The children who come to MercyOne Child Advocacy Center have often experienced traumatic events. They have been abused themselves or they may have witnessed a loved one being hurt. Because of the traumas that these children have faced, around 38% of them are experiencing suicidal feelings when they visit the center. These children require specialized mental health therapists who know how to address their needs. Our therapists are trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and help children work through their abuse, identify positive coping skills, and move forward in their lives. Funds raised through the Big Give will allow us to provide these therapeutic services free of charge to the children who need them the most.
The Mercy Child Advocacy Center has two mental health therapists that provide specialized trauma-focused therapy for children. This therapy utilizes unique techniques such as art therapy, motion therapy and play therapy to help the children express their feelings and process their trauma. This service is offered to children regardless of their family's ability to pay. No family ever receives a bill for these services. Each year, more than 100 children are seen on an on-going basis. The funds raised through the Big Give would assist in offsetting the financial cost of providing of this care without pay.
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