Family Justice Center
A center of justice for abused children
The situation in Aruba demands our urgent support.
In short of a week’s time, three children aged 2, 3 and 6 were taken into the urgent care in the Aruban hospital. All three children had been sexually abused by their fathers or grandfathers; suffering damage so severe that they had to remain in the hospital. This happened recently, but it wasn’t an isolated incident. This happens every week.
When a child is abused the “normal” procedure is that the child is taken first to the police or the hospital, then to see the social services, then to meet a lawyer, then to do a medical examination, all at the different places of these institutuions. The child needs to tell the story over and over again, and is often retraumatised.
A Family Justice Center is a multi-disciplinary where everyone works together in the best interest of the child. The police, social services, doctors and nurses, child psychologists all work together under the same roof in a organised in a child-friendly setting.
We will work with the Barnahus model that was founded 21 years ago on Iceland and has been successfully spread to 30 countries in Europe. This work aims at an Aruba where the human rights of children to protection from violence, support and to receive justice are fulfilled. Child victims and witnesses of violence in Aruba are protected by child-friendly interventions and rapid access to justice and care. This approach is aimed at ensuring children are not retraumatised.
Medical, advocacy, social care, police, and therapeutic support will be delivered from one place, providing a coordinated approach to supporting children and young people. We want children, young people and their families to receive the justice, support and therapy they need in a timely manner meaning they can move forward towards recovering from the abuse.
What happens at The center?
We want to make sure children overcome the trauma that sexual abuse and violence cause – not relive it. The focus is on getting them the right help at the right time, by putting all the services needed under one roof. The Sanctuary team will work together to support children, young people and their families through their journey. We have specially trained medical professionals, specialist therapists, advocates, police officers and social workers on hand to help with children’s recoveries. And we make sure all the children we support receive all of this in one familiar and child-friendly place.
An advocate will guide the child or young person and their family through their journey of recovery, helping them access medical care, police and social worker assistance, and mental health support more easily and quickly. The advocate will also support children and young people through the court process.
A play specialist helps the child prepare for the medical examination and care. The referring social worker is invited to attend and the advocate and therapist will be involved as needed.
The forensic interview is conducted by a specially trained police officer or a clinical psychologist, supported by a police officer helping to reduce re-traumatisation and to gather the best evidence, by putting the child or young person’s emotional needs first.
Embedding therapeutic services at the Sanctuary for children and their caregivers. Early and long-term support is offered through child trauma therapists, family counselling and support. This additional emotional support helps the children to feel safe and to help build resilience to recover from the abuse they have experienced.
Police and Social Care Liaison Officers
There are two Police Liaison Officers and two Social Care Liaison Officers, acting as vital links to offer advice and liaison to local police and children’s social care services.
The Barnahus model
We will work with the European Barnahus model which refers to multi-disciplinary and interagency interventions organised in a child-friendly setting. It was founded 21 years ago on Iceland and has been successfully spread to more than This work aims at an Aruba where the human rights of children to protection from violence, support and to be heard are fulfilled. Child victims and witnesses of violence in Aruba are protected by child-friendly interventions and rapid access to justice and care. This approach is aimed at ensuring children are not retraumatised. Learn more about the Barnahus Model here>>
SEXUAL ABUSE IN CHILDREN IS A MAJOR, GLOBAL PROBLEM AND WE CANNOT LOOK AWAY.
We must acknowledge that this is happening, not only in Aruba but in our own country, town, school, daycare and neighborhood. We must give all the children a voice.
Support the children in Aruba by donating now. You can also share our mission with your network. Or dare yourself to talk about hard issues with your family and friends. All change begins with us – and it begins by shedding light on those dark topics we often hide under the rug.
life stories from SURVIVORS
Meet the brave women who have dedicated their lives to help others heal and read their life stories. We are proud to host them here in our open space, where every child and woman has a voice. And note the importance in listening and acknowledging what has happened to the child. If you are a survivor and want to share your story with us we are honored to listen to you, email us here at email@example.com.
Patricia, survivor of years of sexual abuse from early years until she was 14.
Meet Amanda Kullenberg, survivor of 4.5 years of sexual abuse.
Karen Mademilia-Henricus, survivor of 15 years of sexual abuse from the age of 2 to 17.
1 out of 5 children suffer from violence and sexual abuse, 20% of all children.
The perpetrator is often a family member, a relative or close friend to the family
The problem is generational and the abuser has a background of being abused as a child
The problem exist and is the same all over the world
The most important is to acknowledge that it exists and listen to the child
A center for abused children to receive justice and treatment to enable healing
To be advised
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