WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Boozman joined efforts to urge Attorney General Loretta Lynch to incorporate a broader use of funding to protect victims of child abuse under the Victim of Child Abuse (VOCA) Victim Assistance Grant Program.
Boozman, along with 20 of his Senate colleagues, sent a letter on Monday to the Attorney General requesting grant funding availability for forensic interviews and forensic medical examinations at Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) for victims of child abuse.
“For CACs, both forensic interviews and forensic medical examinations are key components and essential for healing and justice for victims and non-offending caregivers. Confirming that the VOCA Victim Assistance Grant Program includes forensic interviews and forensic medial examinations as allowable direct services costs will give CACs access to critical resources needed to service child victims within their communities,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
There are 14 Child Advocacy Centers in Arkansas and three satellite locations with another location to be open by the end of the year. In 2014, CACs helped more than 4,300 children in Arkansas. These centers offer support to reduce the trauma experienced by victims and their family by coordinating the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases.
“Thank you to Senator Boozman for signing onto this letter and for bringing attention to this important source of funding for Child Advocacy Centers throughout Arkansas. The funding from VOCA allows Child Advocacy Centers to provide their collaborative response to determine the best way to fulfill each child’s unique needs,” Stacy O. Thompson, Executive Director of Children's Advocacy Centers of Arkansas said.
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