New counseling site to support victims of sexual assault, child abuse in Eastern Niagara
The YWCA of Niagara and the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara have fulfilled a long-held vision with the dedication of a new facility to serve adult sexual assault victims and child victims of abuse. The announcement during ceremonies at the YWCA in Lockport.
The new facility, named The YWCA Counseling Suite/Child Advocacy Center Lockport Satellite, will greatly improve accessibility to important support services for victims in eastern Niagara County, spokespersons for both organizations said.
A ribbon-cutting and open house were held at the YWCA, 32 Cottage St.
"All women and children need a place they can go to feel safe and protected. Until today, many in central and eastern Niagara County, especially those who lack transportation, did not have easy access to such a place," said CEO Kathleen A. Granchelli of the YWCA of Niagara. "We're honored to partner with the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara to ensure that both women and children who are suspected victims of abuse or sexual assault can receive essential services in a safe, convenient setting."
"This effort has created a warm and supportive environment in Lockport," said Laura Kelemen, LCSW-R, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara. "Our dedicated, highly trained and compassionate professionals from law enforcement, child protective services and the district attorney's office will use this child-friendly place to interview, counsel and prepare children for court while ensuring they will not be re-victimized by telling their tragic stories over and over again."
The YWCA Counseling Suite/Child Advocacy Center Lockport Satellite site was made possible by donations by the Radecke family and the compassionate response of individuals and service organizations.
About the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara:
The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, a service of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, was founded in 1995 as a partnership between local law enforcement agencies, the Niagara County District Attorney's Office and the Niagara County Department of Social Services. It was the third child advocacy center to be established in New York and one of the first nationally approved, hospital-affiliated centers in the Empire State. The center coordinates a multi-disciplinary team of law enforcement, child protective services, criminal justice, medical, mental health and victim assistance professionals in Niagara County to assure that every child suspected of being abused has somewhere to go and someone to listen in child-friendly environment. It is a fully accredited member of the National Children's Alliance.
To learn more, visit www.cacofniagara.org.
About the YWCA of Niagara
Since 1915, the YWCA of Niagara has actively worked to eliminate racism and empower women. Originally named the YWCA of Lockport, the agency expanded its service base in 1996 and became a county-wide provider of services to women and girls. With more than a dozen programs and services, the YWCA of Niagara provides comprehensive alternatives to domestic violence, a 24/7 staffed domestic violence hotline and shelter for women and children, transitional housing, and more.
The YWCA of Niagara oversees the county's only rape and sexual assault crisis program, ensuring that adult victims of sexual assault have access to trained and certified confidential advocates. To learn more, visit www.ywcaniagara.org.