The stories below highlight a few of the many little victories that take place at DCAC every single day. Feel free to share these Mission Moments when talking to friends and family about DCAC and child abuse prevention.
Celebrating the Multi-Disciplinary Team
A courageous young lady began visiting DCAC after enduring sexual abuse at the hands of her father for several years. Thanks to the seamless teamwork of the Dallas Police Department, CPS, a forensic interviewer, a therapist, DCAC’s Family Assistance team, and the Assistant District Attorney, her father was convicted of his crime and sentenced to 45 years in prison with a $10,000 fine! This was a huge victory for the family and for the entire Multidisciplinary Team at DCAC.
Did you know? DCAC houses the Child Abuse Unit of the Dallas Police Department, 6 units of Child Protective Services, forensic interviewers, therapists, a family assistance team, an education team, and a Research Institute all under one roof! This facilitates the coordination of cases and helps ensure everyone involved is on the same page at all times.
The Clothes Closet
A therapy client recently graduated and chose a brand new, bright pink bicycle out of the Clothes Closet as her celebration gift. The best part – she rode her new bike out of the Clothes Closet and right out the front doors with a HUGE smile on her face!
Did you know? The Clothes Closet at DCAC is full of toys, clothes, and toiletries for the children and families served. Families also receive support through school supply assistance, holiday programs, and other family events.
After being sexually abused by her babysitter, an 11-year-old girl started coming to DCAC for therapy with Hunter, a DCAC therapy dog. The girl told Hunter about her abuse and nightmares and asked Hunter to be her “helper” so she could feel safe again. She drew pictures of Hunter and hung them on the wall in her bedroom, and when it came time for court, she took a photo of Hunter with her. From the therapy sessions to her bedroom at night and into the courtroom, a therapy dog gave this child the courage she needed to face her abuse and to testify against the perpetrator in court.
Did you know? Therapy enables children who have been abused to develop a healthy self-image, to learn to trust again, and to identify ways to protect themselves from further victimization. Specially trained and licensed therapists works with child abuse victims on issues such as trauma, shame, embarrassment, safety, and self-esteem.
Family Assistance Team
The Family Assistance team worked with a little girl that was feeling very unprepared for her upcoming court date because she didn’t think she had anything nice enough to wear for such an important occasion. After picking out a new outfit in the Clothes Closet, she felt like a rock star and was confident for court!
Did you know? The Family Assistance program provides supportive case management services to families during their healing process. Clients also receive information and referrals to community resources.
A 13-year-old girl was assaulted by a neighbor. She had become very closed off and withdrawn. Her therapist began taking her to the Music Therapy room as a way to process her feelings. One day she began writing a song, and the therapist said it was ‘like the poet within her was unleashed.’ She had a breakthrough and ultimately decided that she wasn’t going to let fear rule her life. She began dancing around the room to the music and felt free of the abuse.
Did you know? There are several types of therapy offered at DCAC including: art therapy, play therapy, music therapy, animal-assisted therapy, and therapeutic gardening.
Ideas for Involvement
For Community Members
- Update your Facebook profile picture and cover photo to the one provided at www.facebook.com/dallascac.
- Share DCAC’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@DallasCAC).
- Post one of the sample social media posts provided.
- Wear blue on Friday, April 5th and send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on your social media using #CAPM2019
- Organize a 3rd party event, jean day, or toy drive for DCAC’s Clothes Closet.
- Host a Recognizing and Reporting lunch and learn for your friends.
- Encourage your faith community to get participate in Blue Sunday on April 28th.
- Come to Appetite for Advocacy on April 20th with your friends or co-workers.
- Encourage your employees to wear blue on Friday, April 5th and send a group photo to email@example.com.
- Offer $1 jean days for employees and donate the money collected to DCAC.
- Organize a toy or supply drive for DCAC’s Clothes Closet. Make it a contest in the office!
- Host a fundraising event for DCAC.
- Host a Recognizing and Reporting lunch and learn for employees.
- Offer a promotion to your customers such as a discount for customers wearing blue on a certain day of the week.
- Share DCAC’s posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or post one of the sample posts provided on page 3 of this toolkit.
- Sponsor a table at Appetite for Advocacy on Thursday, April 18th.
For Faith Communities
- Participate in Blue Sunday on April 28th by mentioning child abuse in the message or by collecting a special offering to benefit DCAC. Send a recap of your efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Print a section about Child Abuse Prevention in your weekly bulletin or newsletter during the month of April.
- Mention Child Abuse Prevention Month on your marquee or outdoor signage to help raise awareness in your community.
- Teach your parents and child care volunteers how to keep children safe by hosting a Recognizing and Reporting session.
- Host a toy or supply drive for DCAC’s Clothes Closet.