Church Donates to Child Abuse Prevention Organizations

Latter-day Saint leaders visit Children’s Justice Center

News Release

Women leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visited the Children’s Justice Center (CJC) in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, to deliver a $50,000 donation to help child abuse victims and their families. The money will be used to support Utah Children's Justice Centers around the state. The leaders also announced a $25,000 donation to the A Breeze of Hope Foundation, an organization in Bolivia that serves victims of sexual violence.

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“It’s very, very important to support these wonderful groups,” said Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, who was joined by members of the Young Women and Primary general presidencies at center, located at 257 11th Avenue and B Street in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood. “[The Church recognizes that abuse is] a societal problem, that it also affects our members. And so, we want to support these wonderful organizations who are dealing with this on a day-to-day basis.”

“We are followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” added Sister Cristina B. Franco, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, which represents more than 1 million boys and girls under age 12 in the Church. “[Christ has] a special interest for children [to be] safe and good. Our donation will help others as they seek help for their problems… [and] get better treatment and start the healing process in their lives to become whole.”

Susanne Mitchell, director of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center, said the Church’s financial support is critical to helping keep children safe.

“Child abuse is a community problem, and it's really up to all of us to do something about it, and we need everyone to embrace the solutions and be part of it,” Mitchell said. “And what we've found is that the need is great. The caseload continues to rise. There's children out there that continue to suffer in silence. We want them to come forward and get help, and we want to have the ability to serve them with all the necessary resources to give them what they need.”

The donation will be used to update interview recording equipment in five centers, continue a trial phase of an in-house forensic interviewer program in Salt Lake and Weber counties, support renovations in several centers and assist in establishing a victim advocate at the San Juan facility.

Tracey Tabet, administrator of the Utah Children's Justice Center program, said the upgrades to the centers will help the CJC provide a “safe, child‑focused place where child abuse victims can come and talk about what happened to them, and to receive much‑needed services.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Church has provided financial assistance to child abuse prevention organizations around the world. The Church is also providing a $25,000 donation to A Breeze of Hope Foundation in Bolivia, a nonprofit organization that provides services to victims of child sexual abuse.

The donation will assist in providing technology updates and program supplies at the foundation’s center, Centro Una Brisa De Esperanza (CUBE), in Cochabamba, as well as help fund educational workshops on issues surrounding sexual violence for the general population, legal professionals and government authorities in the region.

Protecting children is a core aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church has provided resources to stop and prevent abuse. Safeguards have also been implemented in the Church’s youth programs, and a 24-hour hotline can put leaders in touch with a counselor.

Families who have experienced abuse can go to the Children’s Justice Center to receive access to resources such as counseling, information about legal services, law enforcement support and information to help them overcome abuse.

The Utah Children’s Justice Center program is affiliated with the National Children’s Alliance in Washington, D.C. The alliance estimates that one in 10 children will experience abuse in some form by the time they reach age 18.

The Church received the alliance’s National Philanthropy Leadership Award in Washington, D.C., a year ago. In 2016, the Church donated $100,000 to the National Children's Alliance, the national accrediting body for children's advocacy centers.

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