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Sophie’s Story

When a child discloses that they have been sexually abused, a family’s world is turned upside down. Caregivers may feel scared, confused and alone, unsure of where to look for help. All they know is that they must do everything they can to protect their child and help them heal.
This is the unfortunate reality for countless families every year. Child sexual abuse is a silent epidemic, and it can have devastating consequences for its victims.

But there is hope. Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center (ChicagoCAC) is a lifeline for children who have experienced sexual abuse or other serious maltreatment. With your help, we provide comprehensive services to children and their families, including forensic interviews, advocacy, and mental health counseling. We are the only organization in Chicago that collaborates with law enforcement and child protective services, under one roof, to provide a coordinated investigative process.

None of this is possible without you. Only with your financial support can we help children like Sophie.

When 10-year-old Sophie* came to ChicagoCAC, she was scared and withdrawn. She had been through so much, and she didn’t know how to cope. But our team of experts was there to help every step of the way.

We started by providing Sophie with a safe and supportive environment where she could tell her story. Our child life specialist helped her to feel comfortable and at ease by sharing with her a baseball card with fun facts about our beloved facility dog, Mac. Sophie smiled as she learned about Mac and couldn’t wait to meet him. As she felt safe and supported, she was comfortable enough to open up and share about her traumatic experience. The detective and child protection investigator observed the interview and used the information to create a safety plan and hold the abuser accountable. Not long after, Sophie was introduced to the real-life Mac, and as you would expect, her smile lit up the room. Sophie has such fond memories of that day that she calls it “Mac Day.”

Sophie was referred to our Family Hope Center where she began weekly therapy sessions. Her therapist helped Sophie begin to develop positive coping skills to thrive (as they do with every child we serve) and of course, Mac is always ready to help Sophie navigate a particularly hard session. Because of donors like you, Sophie is now on a journey of healing. She is still working through the trauma of her abuse, but she is making progress every day.

The challenge we face is that Sophie is not alone. There are thousands of other children like her who need your help. That’s why I’m asking you to make a generous gift to ChicagoCAC today. We walk alongside kids like Sophie every step of the way as they begin their journey of seeking justice, hope, and healing. We pride ourselves on providing children with a safe place to tell their story and receive vital therapy services when needed most.

48,000 children have received services through ChicagoCAC since 2001 thanks to your continued support. We serve more than 2,200 kids per year, having a deep and lasting impact on the lives of children and families in our local community. We also reach thousands of caregivers and professionals with prevention education to help keep children safe.

Your gift will help ensure that every child who comes through our doors has the support they need to heal and thrive. It will also protect them, and all of Chicago’s children, from abuse.

Will you become a donor today and change the future of a child?

Will you help make many more “Mac Days” happen for children like Sophie?

Give Today to support children like Sophie.

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