Michael G. Nerheim
The Lake County Children's Advocacy Center Hosts Groundbreaking Event
The Lake County Children's Advocacy Center (LCCAC) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 for their Healing Garden. The ceremony took place from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM.
The Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center is committed to providing a safe environment for child victims of abuse. The Children's Advocacy Center's goal is to investigate and help successfully prosecute offenders of child abuse without causing further trauma to the child victim. The Advocacy Center is dedicated to approaching victims of child abuse in a sensitive, respectful manner. A child victim is defined as anyone from birth to eighteen years of age. The Center provides services to individuals beyond age eighteen when special circumstances (i.e. developmental disability) require special handling of a victim. The center is a 501 (c)3 not for profit organization.
A total of $80,000 was raised to complete the project for the Healing Garden.
In the year 2015, there were a total of 615 Victim Sensitive Interviews at the LCCAC, 517 child sexual abuse cases, 54 physical abuse cases, 44 witness to abuse cases, 197 cases where the alleged offender is a relative, and 386 were victims who were 12 years of age or under.
In 2016 (January-July), there have been a total of 341 Victim Sensitive Interviews, 261 child sexual abuse cases, 52 physical abuse cases, 28 witness to abuse cases, 121 cases where the alleged offender is a relative, and 218 cases where the victim was 12 years of age or under.
"It is my hope that the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center's Healing Garden will help bring comfort and smiles to children-even after a tragedy has impacted their lives," said State's Attorney Mike Nerheim. "The garden will also serve as a place for self-reflection and healing. A child should not be defined by situations that are out of their control; they still deserve to lead a normal and healthy life, " he added.
Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim has introduced a space that will serve as a comfort for child victims of crime. At the Healing Garden, children will have the opportunity to be reminded that they are loved and cared for-regardless of the circumstances that surround them.
In addition, Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim would like to thank all of the LCCAC's partners, the Friends Committee, and the Lake County State's Attorney's Office Staff for making this project so memorable as well as for their dedication and commitment.
To learn more about the Children's Advocacy Center, view the video.