New centre for abused youth in Windsor
Published Saturday, August 11, 2018 12:21PM EDT
A new centre has opened to help hundreds of abused children in Windsor-Essex.
It’s called the Windsor-Essex Child Youth Advocacy Centre.
“It’s a friendly, safe location where children can go and talk about their abuse that they've endured,” says executive director Michelle Oake.
The statistics suggest such a centre is necessary.
“In the Windsor Essex community, over 700 children and youth are abused annually, physically or sexually abused,” says Oake.
That does not include another 600 youth who are abused or harmed by neglect.
Oake says they have a team of professionals – including police, the Children’s Aid Society -- who will come together and listen to victims, so they only have to share their story once. The CYAC will also link families with service providers like Carol Branget at the Sexual Assault Crisis Centre.
“Having someone say I've got this for you, I'm going to make those phone calls, I think it minimizes the stress levels that families already have,” says Branget.
After a positive experience at the CYAC, Branget tells CTV News the victims are more relaxed when they come to her. She believes that minimizes their trauma and speeds up their recovery.
The Windsor-Essex CYAC has been three years in the making.
Oake says they have helped 82 youth in their first year while operating out of Windsor Regional Hospital. But the group has received space at the Toldo Centre for Health Sciences at St. Clair College.
Oake says they are now fundraising to create waiting rooms and child friendly interview rooms.
If you are interested, you can donate money at https://www.wecyac.ca/donate/