Generous donors to Mary Bridge stand with victims of child abuse
By Kortney Scroger
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, an important time to reflect on the role generous community members play in preventing and treating child abuse.
Thanks to annual donations from caring individuals and an endowment funded with the help of the Rotary Clubs of Pierce County, nearly 15,000 children suspected to be victims of abuse or neglect have received medical exams through the Mary Bridge Child Abuse Intervention Department since 1988.
For decades, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network has been leading the charge in the prevention and treatment of child abuse. The Mary Bridge Child Abuse Intervention Department (CAID) works with the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Pierce County to provide a child-focused, safe place for victims of child abuse to seek help. CAID offers medical assistance, family support and general education to empower members of the community to recognize signs of abuse.
- Medical treatment following sexual or physical abuse
- Forensic exams
- Assistance navigating the legal system and accessing community resources
- Information and referrals for families
- Facilitated access to support services
These services would not be possible without donor support. Insurance does not cover all medical care costs associated with abuse — especially sexual abuse — leaving victims with limited options. In their darkest hour, Mary Bridge donors stand with victims of child abuse by ensuring children have access to the services they need to seek justice and healing. Generous donations fund 62 percent of CAID programs and services and 44 percent of CAC services.
“The truth is that it is not easy work,” says Jody Hawthorne, Manager of CAID. “The team we have at Mary Bridge works tirelessly on behalf of the children to promote health and healing for the victim and family. And we could not do the difficult work without the financial support of the donors. They make it possible for us to do what we do.”
With the help of generous donations, CAID and CAC have been able to help more children and their families every year. In 2016:
- 951 children were served
- 49% of the children served were 0-6 years old
- 408 on-site forensic interviews were conducted
- 346 children received medical exam/treatment
- 106 children were referred to counseling therapy
- 53 children received counseling therapy
- 97% of the parents took steps to enhance the safety of their child in response to services provided