According to dcac.org, a total of 28,000 children were abused last year in Dallas County alone.
DCAC, or the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, is an organization that raises awareness and advocates for victims of child abuse. The official statement on the DCAC website reads, “DCAC is the only agency of its kind in Dallas County, working in agreement with public and private agencies to investigate, prosecute, and provide healing services for child abuse cases in Dallas County. We reduce the re-victimization of the child, remove barriers to investigation and treatment, and enhance criminal prosecution with our distinctive multidisciplinary and united approach to these complex and severe cases.”
They offer programs and training for the victim’s family members who weren’t involved in the abuse. DCAC also partners with government agencies such as Child Protective Services (CPS), police, and other law enforcement. Of all the range of children they help, they say that the average child who comes in for their services is a nine-year-old female sexually assaulted by someone she trusts and knows well, such as a family member or a friend of the family.
DCAC is a team of professionals such as family workers, forensic interviewers, therapists, and more. One of their main focuses is trauma-based therapy for children who have been victims of abuse. Trauma-based therapy is an intervention designed to target trauma and ultimately make it less of an issue for the child. Their website also has some facts and statistics relating to children that have had therapy. For instance, a child who has been abused and undergone therapy versus one that has been abused and has not had therapy is less likely to develop a drug addiction later in life. They are also less likely to struggle with mental illnesses such as PTSD, anxiety, or depression. Most importantly, they are at less risk for suicide and self-harm.
Considering the high fraction of children who never speak about their abuse, it is of the utmost importance for organizations like DCAC to give children a voice. They not only give children an outlet to express their trauma, but they also provide resources to make sure that the child grows up to be as successful as possible.
You can find more information on DCAC on their website: www.dcac.org