What is ChildSafe?
ChildSafe is a Child Advocacy Center, the only one in Bexar County that provides specialized services to children that have abused, neglected or sexually abused.
Why is our mission of providing expert care to children traumatized by abuse so critical? Because the statistics are staggering: in Bexar County, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday; almost one third are not old enough to attend kindergarten.
Last year, Bexar County, which encompasses San Antonio, had the highest rate of reported child abuse cases in Texas, even higher than Harris County, which has nearly three times as many children as Bexar County (BBC, 2011).
How many cases of child abuse were reported in the San Antonio area last year? 5,915. Almost 6,000 children going through unspeakable trauma – 422 more cases reported than in Harris County. Twenty children in Bexar County died from physical abuse in 2011.
Before ChildSafe was established, a child’s outcry of abuse didn’t necessarily mean the hurt was over. For many young victims, it often meant the beginning of a stressful, scary, and difficult journey through the adult-minded criminal and civil justice systems, often times having to tell their story over and over again.
Due to the complex nature of these cases, our systems require the involvement of many different professionals to investigate, prosecute, and intervene.
ChildSafe provides a safe, child-friendly environment where law enforcement, Child Protective Services, prosecution, and mental health professionals work together to create a unique plan to help each individual and family traumatized by abuse heal, as well as work with law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice.
What else do we do at ChildSafe?
We believe sharing information and working with our Multi-Disciplinary Partners is critical to advancing care standards for abused children and their families.
We believe in the power of a collective voice to successfully effect change that will impact the lives of the children scarred by violence and abuse.
We believe that the eradication of child abuse from our society begins with building informed, empowered communities that stand ready to tackle this issue with courage. We accomplish this by providing education to both adults and children in various community and professional settings.
At the heart of our mission is a commitment to support the work of our direct care staff so they can continue to help young victims rebuild their lives. ChildSafe is a nonprofit organization that must raise funds to provide our services to residents of Bexar and surrounding counties.