Child victims of abuse who receive critical services at Deirdre’s House, the Center for Morris County’s child victims, and the State’s other child advocacy centers (CACs) have been forgotten in the Governor’s proposed budget released on August 24th

A lack of support in the proposed budget for child advocacy centers throughout the State, could not come at a more challenging time for child abuse victims in New Jersey.

During Covid19, child victims have been suffering in silence, forced to isolate with their abusers, without access to the trusted adults they normally disclose to-teachers, counselors, family friends.  Now, as child victims emerge from the isolation of the pandemic, they are beginning to disclose the horrific abuse that occurred in their homes during the shutdown and demand for the forensic interviewing, medical examinations and treatment, and clinical counseling services that Deirdre’s House provides to child victims is anticipated to increase exponentially.  State funding support is necessary for Deirdre’s House to continue to deliver critical services to child victims. According to Deirdre’s House Executive Director, Maria Vinci Savettiere, Esq., “State support is even more critical considering that we also anticipate a sharp decline in the availability of foundation, corporate, and individual grant funding due to the impact of low interest rates, decline in income due to Covid19, and the shift of focus of many philanthropic organizations on crisis needs due to Covid19. Despite New Jersey’s budget shortfalls, now is not the time to abandon child victims who have suffered disproportionately during Covid isolation”

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Deirdre’s House is calling upon members of the community to help by reaching out to their local legislative representative and asking them to restore the CAC-MDT Advisory Board Funds in the FY21 budget---Let them know that child victims need to be supported. Email your Morris County representatives by using this link https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/SelectRep.asp.

About Deirdre’s House

Founded in 1994, Deirdre’s House, is the leading resource for children in Morris County who have suffered abuse, neglect or witnessed domestic violence.  It is the only site in Morris County where a child victim can be interviewed and digitally recorded by law enforcement, medically examined and treated, and clinically counseled in English and Spanish, all free-of-charge and all under one roof.  Since opening its doors, Deirdre’s House has had over 38,000 child visits.

For more information on Deirdre’s House or to donate to help child victims, log onto www.deirdreshouse.org  If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected please call the NJ DCPP a t 1877-NJ-Abuse or your local law enforcement. You could save a child’s life.