Children’s Justice Center Moving To Bigger Building As Need For Help Jumps
LOGAN, Utah – Child abuse is a growing problem during the pandemic, but help has arrived for the Children’s Justice Center in Cache County, which will soon have a bigger building.
The victim’s advocacy group is moving into a new 6,000-square-foot facility and it’s happening just in time.
The stories the victims tell are hard to hear.
Terryl Warner has been listening for decades. She said people are generally not aware of how bad it really is.
“We’re seeing kids right now, that are making pornography in their home, because they’ve been coerced to do it by somebody, or they’re being paid to do it by somebody,” Warner said.
She said the stories have to be heard in order to get the cases to court.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in a number of cases that we’re seeing involving strangulation, and kids seeing that,” Warner said.
As the pandemic seems to add to the pent-up stress, she said it’s only gotten worse over the past couple of months; not to mention the need for keeping up with cleaning and social distancing guidelines.
“We have right now the ability to do three at the most interviews or medical exams, or a combination of both throughout the day, that’s it,” Warner said.
It’s why the new house is now bringing hope. Instead of just one interview room, they’ll have five.
Warner said the Children’s Justice Center was able to secure $1.4 million in CARES funding to buy and remodel the home.
She said they plan to help more than just the victims there.
“We will be able to interview kids that are living in domestic violence and try to get them the help they need,” Warner said.
An increase in child abuse that has come with the pandemic, is adding to the need for a new, larger Children's Justice Center in the Cache Valley. How the county was able leverage CARES funds to make the move into an house with much more space. @KSL5TV at 5&6pm. pic.twitter.com/o1w70gVWWT
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) October 1, 2020
Also, witnesses and adults who were abused as children, she said, will ideally be able to also use the safe space in the coming years.
“This has been something that I’ve talked about and wanted for about 15 years,” Warner said.
Her plan is to have the home ready for victim advocates to start using the home as their new base by early next month.
The Children’s Justice Center serves Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties too.
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