Category Archive

January 16, 2019
A photo of three old VHS tapes.

When I sat down to write this post, I had just returned home from visiting a child advocacy center after training their team on a new cloud-based video management solution. The CAC I visited conducts more than 2,000 child forensic interviews per year, and my mind was full with all the ways CACs can benefit from cloud technology. “What are you doing this morning, Mom?” my 9-year-old daughter Gabi asked. I told her that I was going to writ...

September 20, 2018
Child's hands coloring on wooden table

Insights

Audio and video Interview Room Recording Systems are features of many Children’s Advocacy Centers. This technology, in tandem with forensic interviewers and best practices from our field, allows for child victims to begin their journey towards justice. These nine questions will help you better understand the install process, optimize your recordings and mitigate anything inside or outside your interview room that could interfere with your ...

February 24, 2017

HOW-TOS FOR LEADERS

I’ll never forget the way people used to look at me when I would tell them that we had a successful year at our Children’s Advocacy Center because there was a 25-percent increase in the child sexual abuse cases we saw.  All wide-eyed and somewhat exasperated, their response would sound something like, “More children being abused is considered success?”  Well, not exactly. We were successful because we reached more children....

December 5, 2018
Photo of Susan and Max, hugging.

PERSONAL NARRATIVES

Every child deserves the chance to live out their full potential, and yet many are robbed of their childhood. The feeling of being alone and helpless is something no child should ever have to go through. As a survivor myself, and now an adult, I felt as though I had turned a blind eye to those who are going through the same thing I experienced. Although it may be hard to look back, I say to you: If you yourself have gone through something si...

December 29, 2017

Personal Narratives

My story didn’t begin with me having a voice. It began in the silence and secrets and shame that so many victims struggle to break free from. And for a long time I felt more broken than healed. It was so easy to see the scars. I still see them. Not as many, not as vivid, but the lines are still there when I look, and there are days they stand out more than others. Being sexually abused throughout my tween and teen years by an adult who had...

September 14, 2017

Policies that Help Kids

A man in my home state of Illinois will spend the next 40 years behind bars as the consequence of sexually abusing his girlfriend’s daughter. The abuse started when she was just three. Sadly, this sort of tragic story is unremarkable in America. But what is remarkable is how the abuse stopped at age seven. The girl broke her silence immediately to teachers after a class presentation on personal body safety. This...

March 20, 2019
Photo of a smiling girl in her mom's arms

INSIGHTS

Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) work through the strength of partnership—no single professional or agency can counter child abuse on their own, and survivors need and deserve support when abuse comes to light. Being a good partner means being a good active listener, and active listening is the main medium in which CACs do their work. Forensic interviewers actively listen to children’s stories and help the multidisciplinary team (MDT) a...

February 27, 2019
Nick Bratvold with Senator Thune and NCA's Denise Edwards in the senator's office, standing in front of flags.

HOW-TOS FOR LEADERS

In some ways, legislative advocacy is like toilet paper: You don’t really think about it until it’s absolutely necessary. You usually forget to include it in your budget, it feels a little funny to talk about in public, and, frankly, you can never have enough of it. This wasn’t how I always felt. When I began as South Dakota...

January 10, 2019
Pecos the facility dog lies on the carpet. A little red-headed girl sits with her arm on him, her hand on his head.

POLICIES THAT HELP KIDS

Animals are such agreeable friends―they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.―George Eliot
Throughout history, humans have relied on canines to assist in many tasks. Herding, guarding, scent work, and companionship are all duties that dogs have accepted and excelled at. I believe passionately in the human-animal bond, having witnessed firsthand the comfort that animals provide to people in need, as I imagine m...

1 2