New organization aims to help victims of child abuse - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

New organization aims to help victims of child abuse

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HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A non-profit organization has opened its doors in the Pine Belt and aims to help kids deal with traumatic experiences.

Kids Hub Child Advocacy center is an organization devoted to providing forensic interview services and advocacy to children that have been victims of child abuse.

“We are dedicated to servicing child abuse victims, we service children that have been physically abused, sexually abused or that have been a witness to a violent crime,” Executive Director Didi Ellis said.

The center, located at 2052 Oak Grove Road, is the only one of its kind in the Pine Belt.

Ellis said before this facility opening, law enforcement and DHS employees and victims would have to travel to the coast or to Jackson for the services.

The facility, which was constructed from a house on Oak Grove Road, provides a warm, friendly environment. Everything in the house has been donated, and the center relies solely on contributions from the community and grant funding.

“It is friendly here, we have multiple rooms set up for interviews, as well as a room where each child get to choose their own teddy bear when they leave,” Ellis said. “We really just want the child to be comfortable and to be in an environment to take the stress or trauma out of the situation."

The forensic interviews are monitored by law enforcement and DHS employees.

“The interviews are monitored so all the questions can be asked and answered in one instance, that way the child does not have to be re-questioned about their traumatic incident,” Ellis said. 

Ellis expects having several hundred cases by the year’s end, and already started booking appointments a week ago.

The facility services children that are from the ages of  two years and eight months to 18 years old, as well as vulnerable adults, with the only requirement being the victims have to be verbal.

“We want to reach more children, we know when we see the reports that have come in and we have staffed the cases one thing we can say is we can service those kids because we know about them,” Ellis said. “We want the community to realize that there is a resource here locally in our community and so if you have questions, if you suspect abuse if you have concerns, let us help direct you to how to handle those cases."

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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