CVAC satellite office opening
Published 11:30 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs has announced the opening of a local satellite office of the Cumberland Valley Children’s Advocacy Center to assist Harlan County child victims of sexual and physical abuse with follow-up care and counseling.
“These services are desperately needed for our Harlan County children that have been harmed by sexual abuse,” Boggs said. “For the past five years, I have worked with the London TLC House and have seen the need for sexual abuse counseling for our Harlan children who have been victimized. I prosecute sex offenders and obtain sentences in court, but that does not heal the child victim. Children need long-term professional help to deal with the effects of sexual abuse.”
Boggs said that few people can regularly transport a child to London for counseling, and he is happy they can now receive these free services in Harlan.
The Cumberland Valley Children’s Advocacy Center (CVCAC) serves child victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and human trafficking in eight counties. The designated regional child advocacy center for the Cumberland Valley Region is located in London.
The CVCAC worked with Boggs to open a satellite office in Harlan County, which will be located at 211 East Central Street, Suite 211, Harlan.
Shanda Middleton, victim’s advocate for the Harlan Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, meets monthly with personnel from CVCAC to discuss pending court cases. She works directly with the Commonwealth Attorney to strategize prosecution of child sexual abuse. Once the case is before the court, she guides her victims through the entire court process, which can be a traumatic and bewildering experience for a young child. She attends court hearings, and serves as the liaison between the judicial system and the victims and the victim’s families. While Middleton can assist with pending cases, there is currently no after-care in place.
The CVCAC serves approximately 630 children with services including advocacy and support, forensic interviewing, trauma focused therapy, play therapy, coordinating and collaborating with law enforcement, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, County and Commonwealth Attorney’s offices. The Center is committed to promote the safety, health, and emotional well-being of abused children and their supportive caregivers by bringing together a coordinated multi-agency response. The CVCAC and community has been seeking long term follow up care for their victims in Harlan County for years.
“We are so excited to be expanding our services,” said Paige Lay, executive director of the CVCAC. “It takes a team effort to work difficult cases and we have always had a great relationship with local law enforcement and Parker’s office. It’s our vision to be open by early summer.”
Lay attributes the funding of the new satellite office to the Elgin Children’s Foundation, Tim Rogers and Paul Phillips’ support and for advocacy for it. Sugar Ridge Land Company assisted in finding the perfect location.
“We are overjoyed that our victims will get the help they need in Harlan,” Lay concluded.
For more information, visit www.cv-cac.org or contact Lay at 606-878-9116.