Approximately 65 children a month bravely walk through the doors of the Child Protection Center (CPC) to share their voice — a voice that is heard, honored and respected. As April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the CPC is asking you to stand by us as we continue to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, and work to protect children and strengthen families.
In March of 2018, two little girls, ages three and eight, came to the Child Protection Center for an emergency forensic interview requested by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. They were referred to the CPC after disclosing to their grandmother what they saw. Per the detective on the case, the children witnessed an alleged perpetrator choke and shoot their mother. The girls arrived at the CPC two hours after the incident occurred and immediately sat down to speak with one of the CPC’s forensic interviewers. The three-year-old girl, who arrived with blood on her clothing, immediately disclosed that her dad had killed her mother. The eight-year-old girl disclosed that she saw a man she did not know holding a gun in her front yard, and that her mom was laying on the porch and was dead. Just over a year later, another referral was made to the CPC. The eight-year-old girl made further disclosures regarding what she had witnessed the prior year. During her second interview at the CPC, she was ready to share her story, and disclosed that she witnessed her father killing her mom.
While the two little girls were speaking to a forensic interviewer, one of the CPC’s family advocates was meeting with the little girl’s grandmother to assess critical resources, refer them for mental health services and provide immediate and ongoing support. The CPC’s family advocate also provided the grandmother further support when her granddaughter came back to the CPC to disclose the additional information in the spring of 2019. In August of 2019, the CPC’s forensic interviewer who interviewed the two sisters testified in criminal court in front of 12 jurors. The jurors were shown all three of the recorded forensic interviews that took place at the CPC. Today, the perpetrator is serving life in prison.
While these are the stories of two brave little girls that the CPC served, there are so many more.
The Child Protection Center is a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center that serves Jackson, Cass and a portion of Lafayette counties in Missouri. The CPC opened in 1996 as a child-friendly, safe place for children ages 3-17 who are alleged victims of sexual or physical abuse, or who have witnessed violent crimes, to provide their statement about their own experience. This statement is obtained through the forensic interview process. In addition to forensic interviews, the CPC provides family advocacy and mental health services to child abuse victims and their families.
In 2019 alone, the CPC’s staff stood beside 807 children — 484 were sexually abused, 253 were physically abused, 101 reported witnessing child abuse, 57 reported witnessing domestic violence, 7 witnessed a homicide, and 30 children experienced abuse in an alternative form (e.g., child exploitation, drug endangered etc.).
Please consider making a donation today in honor of one of those children. Your support matters!