The model for a Child Advocacy Center was first created in the 1980’s by a District Attorney in Alabama, Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Jr., who later became a Congressman. Cramer felt that the systems in place to support child abuse victims were actually re-victimizing them.
Children who had suffered abuse were brought to police stations, social service offices, or were forced to talk about the abuse at school. It was typical for children to have to repeat the details of the abuse over and over with professionals who had been trained to work with adult victims, not children. Cramer's idea was to create a child-friendly environment where children could safely tell their stories and receive the support they needed after abuse.
Today there are over 700 CACs nationally, and 15 located throughout Virginia.
To promote a child focused approach to the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child abuse by providing a safe, child-friendly facility, a Multidisciplinary Team response to abuse allegations and professional support, education and advocacy services.