The number of child victims of crime seeking services in our communities is increasing. The Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut (CGC) served 125 new child victims of crime from July 1 through September 30, 2016 — a 30% increase compared to the four months prior. Children who have been victimized often struggle with a tremendous amount of physical, mental, and emotional trauma. These children may display symptoms such as sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, and nightmares. The long-term consequences of not receiving quality treatment include poor physical and mental health, substance abuse, and involvement with the criminal justice system.
CGC, which is accredited as a Children’s Advocacy Center by the National Children’s Alliance, plays a critical role in meeting the needs of these children and families. Our Child Advocacy Center provides a child-friendly, neutral setting in which children are interviewed for forensic purposes and connected to mental health, medical, advocacy, and case management services. Being a crime victim is a traumatic event in a person’s life. CGC addresses this trauma to help children and their families become healthier members of our community.
If state funding for mental health services continues to be cut, a critical safety net will be taken away for those needing to heal. It is crucial that members of our communities work together to ensure that crime victims receive the support they need.
To help agencies like CGC, please consider doing the following:
· Contact your legislators and voice your concerns about the potential decrease of funding to agencies that support victims of crime
· Support agencies in your community by making a donation or volunteering
For more information about ways to support victims of crime, contact CGC’s Director of Victim Services, Setta Mushegian, MSW at (203) 517-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.