What is a Child Advocacy Center?
If you have been charged with child abuse, the intervention of a Child Advocacy Center is important. Since the goal of this organization is to be a voice for a child, you must find and hire an attorney with experience working with these types of cases.
Building a solid defense in child abuse cases is challenging, and bringing in legal representation as early as possible is highly recommended to ensure you have the strongest defense possible.
What is a Child Advocacy Center?
The purpose of Children’s Advocacy Centers is to coordinate the investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases. An advocacy center is staffed with multidisciplinary teams, such as mental health professionals, who take the lead on issues like victim advocacy, child protection, physical health, law enforcement, prosecution, and mental health.
The Role of Children’s Advocacy Centers
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) serve child victims who are believed to have suffered abuse, i.e. child sexually abusive activity. While the centers serve cases of accused child physical abuse, the centers most frequently help with cases of child sexual abuse.
Many children do not disclose they were sexually abused right away. Some don’t tell for months or years, while others never tell. This is often difficult to share with others. However, no matter when a child tells their story, it is possible to press charges against the offending party. Because of this, you need strong legal representation for your situation.
Before the availability of Children’s Advocacy Centers, children were required to repeat the traumatic events to many different professionals for weeks or even months. The approach was uncoordinated and disorganized in many situations. Also, due to the different retellings, details were often confused or misunderstood which made it difficult for officials and investigators to have a clear picture of what happened.
When building sexual assault defense strategies, attorneys could use the inconsistencies in the different retellings. However, this is not possible when your case involves a CAC, which is why having a knowledgeable defense attorney is so important.
The goal of a Children’s Advocacy Center is to have a child–friendly location for children and adolescents to tell their stories. At these centers, the child is interviewed one-on-one by someone with special training in this process. All agencies involved in investigating child sexual abuse come to the Children’s Advocacy Center to watch this interview, usually through a closed-circuit video feed. The officials from various agencies then work together on behalf of the child.
In some situations, it is possible for your defense attorney to either attend the interview or watch a recorded video of it later. However, the prosecution can often build a stronger case because of how things are handled today in the interview process. You need the same legal representation on your side.
Understanding the Role of the National Children’s Alliance
The National Children’s Alliance is the accrediting body for 924 Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs). They provide the technical assistance these centers require to continue providing the services detailed above for children across the country.
The services offered by the National Children’s Advocacy Center are free to children and their families, but they rely on local community support.
It is important to contact the Children’s Advocacy Centers in your area to learn more about how you can help and get involved and help prevent cases of child abuse.
Defending the Criminal Charges You Face
Cases of child abuse and child sexual abuse are complex and demanding. They require the complete focus of a competent and experienced legal team. The penalties of a conviction can be significant, which is why having a strong defense is so important.
Even though the prosecuting attorney will have a strong case against you (in most cases) with the help of the Children’s Advocacy Centers, you still have options and rights. The right attorney will ensure you know these and provide you with the best defense possible.
Protecting Your Rights When Facing Child Abuse Charges in Michigan
Children’s Advocacy Centers are focused on assisting children who are victims of child abuse. If you have been arrested and charged with any type of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment, it is important to know your rights and options.
Even though these centers will work to build a solid case against you, with a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney, you can feel confident that you will have a strong defense for your case.
If you have questions or would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation, contact Attorney Nicole Blank Becker by calling (248) 515-6583 or or use the online form here. The first step to building your defense is to call.