“SUPPORT CENTRE FOR SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN”

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The support centre for sexually abused children was successfully opened on 3 June, 2016. Child sexual abuse and sexual coercion is one of the adult criminal behaviour examples that causes the most harm to children and has a permanent effect on the abused children and their relatives. The child, who is suffering from sexual abuse, requires exceptional attention and care, when he or she decides to reveal the facts about the experienced harm. The disclosure of sexual abuse causes psychological crisis not only to the child, but also to his or her family, the closest environment and sometimes to the whole community. This support centre, providing the specialised complex services for sexually abused children, was established in order to lessen the negative effects on the child after the abuse.

Activity of the centre. The centre provides the following complex services:vaikai2

·         Temporary accommodation – for children and their non-violent parents (guardians).

·         Interviewing for the analysis – there is a special child-friendly interviewing room with special equipment installed in the centre, where the child can be safely inter-viewed about the experience, and the whole thing can be recorded.

·         Medical analysisthere is a special child-friendly consulting room installed in the centre, where medical specialists can examine the child and assess the evidence of abuse and the overall health status of the child.

 In addition, other no less important services are provided: psychological assessment of a child, assessment of a child’s social environment, psychological support for a child.

About the project.  On 1 July, 2014 the implementation agreement on the “ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SUPPORT CENTRE FOR SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN” (No. 2014/4-9-8) was signed. The project is implemented under the means of the 2009 – 2014 financial mechanism programme of the European Economic Area LT05 “Children and Youth at Risk”. The project is funded by the financial mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Lithuania budget funds together with the partner – Icelandic Government Agency for Child Protection “Barnaverndarstofa”.

               It’s not easy for a child to tell about the suffered sexual abuse or violence. They often need a lot of courage and even more time to speak, but sometimes they talk about such things without much thought. If that happens and a child makes the first step sharing his or her experience, it’s important to react properly. That’s why it is imperative to mention that thanks to this project not only the support centre for sexually abused children started to thrive successfully, but also the professional competences of the specialists such as municipal workers, medics, law enforcement specialists and psychologists, who work with sexually abused children, were improved.

Project duration – 24 months.

Amount of the project funds – 865,394.00 Euros.