Child Advocacy Center expanding in size and services

The Lincoln Police Departments Special Victims Unit will soon be housed on the CAC campus

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)-Since opening its doors, the Child Advocacy Center in Lincoln has helped over 18,000 children from Southeast Nebraska.

Bailey Neville came through the doors of the child advocacy center at 17 years old.  She reported the abuse she was experiencing from a coach.  With help, she is now married, has her first child, and is now advocating for others.

“The Child Advocacy Center was honestly life-changing for me. I was kind of at a point where my abuse had led me down a bad path, and they really helped pick me up and lead me in the right direction. They helped me make very good choices, and gave me the strength to pursue my case, go through the court process and ultimately be strong enough to speak out now to survivors and help advocate for more people,” said Bailey Neville Survivor of child abuse.

Although the outcome of her trial was not what she wanted, as her abuser was found not guilty on all counts.  She encourages victims to report the abuse.

“Telling your story is 100% worth it, there are people that are there to help you. You are not alone, there are people in your corner, and without a doubt, it will be worth it to come forward and do what’s right and know that you’re going to have a big army standing behind you no matter what,” said Neville.

Many came out for the groundbreaking of the expansion to the child advocacy center, which will add various services on site.

“We are expanding our medical and mental health services to have more comprehensive care for children. As well as expanding our training and prevention to take a proactive approach to child abuse, by expanding and doing a better job at partnering with schools, faith-based organizations, community agencies to let them know how to report child abuse, what are the warning signs and how can we start to get in front of this issue,” said Paige Piper Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center.

The Lincoln Police Departments Special Victims Unit will be gaining more investigators, and they will be housed on the Child Advocacy campus.

“By improving case collaboration, it will lead to better outcomes for child victims and their families as well,” said Chief Teresa Ewins Lincoln Police Department.

Statistically, for every child who reports abuse, there are 9 others who won’t.  Their goal is to reach those children who wouldn’t normally come forward.

The Child Advocacy Center needs to raise more than $2 million to finish the over $5 million dollar project.  Construction is set to be complete in the Spring of 2023.

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