Janesville41.7°

Center would bring services for abuse victims under one roof

Print Print
Kayla Bunge
May 24, 2008
— Abuse is terrifying.

But it’s even worse for a child who has to repeat the experience to police, doctors, attorneys and social workers.


The Walworth County Alliance for Children wants to make the investigation process less stressful for abused and neglected children.


“Right now, they’re being shipped from one scary place to another scary place to another scary place,” said Evelyn Schulz, a victim-witness coordinator for the district attorney’s office.


The Walworth County Child and Family Center would be a place where children and their families can report abuse or neglect and receive treatment.


“It’s in the best interest of the children and their families to compact it,” Schulz said. “They would have all those services available to them within a few steps.”


The center would have four components:


-- The Children’s Advocacy Center where children and their families would go to report abuse or neglect and start the investigation process. Police, doctors, attorneys and social workers would come to the center instead of the children and their families having to go to a different building for each part of the investigation.


-- Hoyt’s Joy to the World therapy center where children could confront their trauma through art, music and writing. The center is named for the famous song “Joy to the World,” written by Hoyt Axton. Deborah Axton wanted to honor her late husband and gave the alliance permission to use the music and lyrics.


-- The Association for the Prevention of Family Violence where victims of domestic violence and sexual assault would go for advocacy and support.


-- Family Resource Center where families would go for educational classes and materials, support groups and other prevention resources.


Plans for the center are firming up, but the alliance still is looking for a location.


Schulz said the group has requested land at the county complex on County NN in Elkhorn but hasn’t received approval.


“The sheriff’s department, the district attorney’s office, the health and human services (department), the hospital—it’s all out there,” said Gen Reed, executive director of the Association for the Prevention of Family Violence. “It makes sense to put it there.”


The alliance has received more than $10,000 in donations for start-up costs and a $15,000 grant for equipment. But there’s a long way to go, Schulz said. The estimated cost of the building and five years of operation is $6.5 million.


A “Joy to the World” benefit is planned for Saturday, May 31, at the Richard Driehaus estate on Geneva Lake to raise money for building and operating costs.


IF YOU GO
What: “Joy to the World” benefit for the Walworth County Child and Family Center.
Where: Richard Driehaus estate on Geneva Lake.
When: 5-9 p.m., Saturday, May 31.
Tickets: $130 per person or $225 per couple.
Information: Evelyn Schulz, (262) 741-7198 or Gen Reed, (262) 723-4653.
Highlights: The Delavan-Darien High School band and 8-year-old blues guitarist Tallan “T-Man” Latz of Elkhorn will perform “Joy to the World.” Author Linda Lowery will read and sign copies of her book “Laurie Tells,” the story of how an 11-year-old girl struggles to find a trusted adult to talk to about her father, who is abusing her. The book will be personalized for the Walworth County Alliance for Children to be given to children who come to the center.

Print Print