Local women are treating abuse with love | AspenTimes.com

Local women are treating abuse with love

Carolyn SackariasonAspen, CO Colorado
Local women knit blankets for children leaving a recently-opened advocacy center in Glenwood Springs. (Jim Paussa/The Aspen Times)

ASPEN Local women are helping abused children by wrapping them up with love.Kathy Strickland, who works in the Aspen City Clerk’s Office, along with 10 other women, has been knitting blankets for the past couple of months for children leaving a new advocacy center in Glenwood Springs.When children leave Childhelp River Bridge Advocacy Center, they receive a backpack full of items to help them cope, including the blankets.

“We wanted to do something personal for abused children,” Strickland said. “It’s something loving that they can take with them.”The other knitters are Carolyn Jemison, Kathryn Koch, Reed Patterson, Tara O’Bradovich, Tricia Aragon, Jeanette Jones, Teraissa McGovern, Jannette Murison, Mary Shane and Edna Adeh.Childhelp, a national nonprofit child abuse prevention and treatment organization, opened its fifth children’s advocacy center last Saturday.

The Childhelp River Bridge Advocacy Center, just south of Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, provides a child-friendly environment while providing a one-stop approach to the investigation and treatment of child abuse. The facility houses professionals in law enforcement, child protective services, medicine and prosecution, all of whom work as a multidisciplinary team to reduce further trauma to a child, while at the same time strengthening the investigative process.The center is a public/private partnership between Childhelp, Garfield County and Valleywide Forensic Nurses LLC and the 9th Judicial Office of the District Attorney.

The facility houses all types of services victims need, including medical and forensic exams, child protective services, law enforcement services and mental health services. The agencies work together when they receive an abuse report.The advocacy center features a cottage-style design, with shuttered windows and flower boxes. Each room is painted in soft colors, and the interior features furniture in bright red, yellow and green. The advocacy center also houses a reception room, play area, two exam rooms, two interview rooms, and a bath and shower. Founded in 1959 by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp is dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect with a focus on prevention, intervention and treatment. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, (800) 4-A-CHILD, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. For more information log onto http://www.childhelp.org

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