Helping Children Overcome Abuse

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -  When Susie Cover was preparing rooms for the children who will visit this center any day now, she stumbled across a video game.

"I said what I'll need is a child to come in and show me how to use this and then as I placed it I said I hope I never have that.   I hope that doesn't happen--I hope I never learn to use that," said Cover.

Cover says she knows that probably won't be the case.  The Northeast Arkansas Children's Advocacy Center is a place for children who have been a victim of either physical or sexual abuse to tell their story.

"We have a room for the investigator and the child.   We have another room where people can sit who are interested parties like other law enforcement officials, perhaps someone from the prosecutor's office," said Cover.

Cover says they want to limit the number of times the child has to share their story of abuse with a stranger.

"I think every time they tell it becomes less vital to them I think to give the details that maybe are necessary to help stop the abuse," said Cover.

"If we can make a difference in just one child's life, we will have accomplished something at this agency," said Sue McDaniel.

Sue McDaniel is the president of the center's board and says this agency will serve 8 counties in Northeast Arkansas.  She says she hopes to give back to an abused child something every child deserves.

"Peace, hope, a new beginning," said McDaniel.

McDaniel says generous businesses and community members helped get this center prepared to open.  Now, McDaniel says they're looking forward to giving back to the community.

"Part of what we'll be doing is coming up with a list of services that we can provide to families that come in here.   It's not just the child, it affects the whole family," said McDaniel.

As for Executive Director Susie Cover, she says took the position because she was looking for a job that would make her feel different at the end of the day.

"No one should have this job. This is a job that no one should have. I was already feeling different at the beginning of the day," said Cover.

The Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline number is 1-800-482-5964 or you can call Susie Cover at the center at 870-275-7902

©2009 KAIT

 all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.