Judges And Lawyers
From Region Raise
$9,147 To Assist
Center In Mosheim
BY KEN LITTLE
MOSHEIM -- The Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of the Third Judicial District received a $9,147 check Wednesday from C. Berkeley Bell, district attorney general for Greene, Hamblen, Hancock and Hawkins counties.
The money was raised for the non-profit agency at the Northeast Tennessee Child Support seminar held on March 30, at the General Morgan Inn in Greeneville. The event was sponsored by Bell, and attracted more than 90 area judges and lawyers.
The check presentation was significant, and serves to make the public aware of the valuable services provided by the CAC, agency administrators said.
The center, at 200 Main St. in Mosheim, specializes in assistance and support services to children who are victims of child abuse.
Child abuse is an ongoing problem in the four-county Third Judicial District, CAC Executive Director Deana Hicks said. The center was established 11 years ago.
It served about 230 clients from Greene County in 2011, and 750 clients from the four-county area.
"It's vitally important," Hicks said. "The money is important, but it's also a message to the community that we have partners who will not sit back and say, 'We will let children be abused.'"
The issue of child abuse is in the headlines this week with the trial in Pennsylvania of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach on the Penn State football team who allegedly used the influence of his position to gain the confidence of numerous young boys and their family members or teachers, and then sexually abused the boys.
"It's more important than ever that we recognize that it's a very real problem in the community," Hicks said.
Bell said he holds the legal seminar annually to benefit the CAC.
The amount raised this year is the largest total to date, he said.
"This organization probably is one of the most important facets of treatment of children who have been abused, physically and sexually," Bell said.
"They interface with law enforcement and provide a support structure for the kids who come in here. They're in here to soften [the impact of abuse] and help the kids. They do a fantastic job."
There were no children present Tuesday, but the bright colors and cheerful, toy-filled decor of the waiting room indicate what the agency's priorities are.
The CAC "is a safe place," Hicks said. "It recognizes the importance of children disclosing [abuse].
"When children disclose, they are going to be believed here, and the burdens of the adult world will be taken from them."
"[CAC] lets them be a child again," she added.
The goal of CAC has never wavered, Hicks said.
"We just want to get them on that path to hope, healing and recovery, " she said.
Therapy services and a victims' services program are available. CAC staff members include a family advocate and a forensic interviewer.
For more information about the Child Advocacy Center, please call (423) 422-4446 or visit http://etncac.org/