Orange Appeal November/December 2020

Page 108

A blue-eyed little girl not quite 5 years old does not speak; she does not look up or make eye contact. She has been severely sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. To experience such horrific trauma at such a young age is unimaginable at any age. It was not surprising that her light had been dimmed. After a few therapy sessions, her demeanor changed, and her light began to shine again for all to see. Her smile brightened the room, and the hearts of those helping her.


4,000 reports of suspected child abuse

staff does each day, bring

each year, a shocking statistic that is

hope and healing to chil-

haunting and daunting under normal cir-

dren who have been abused


and/or neglected. Kids House

The mission of Kids House is to prevent

of Seminole, the Wayne Densch Children’s

child abuse and to aid child abuse victims

Advocacy Center, located in Sanford, is the

and families by providing coordinated ser-

one place in Seminole County dedicated to

vices in a safe, child-friendly environment

dealing with the thousands of allegations of

from reporting and investigation through

abuse and neglect reported each year.

treatment and resolution. In collaboration

As Seminole County’s only child advo-

with all law enforcement agencies, the state

cacy center since 1999, Kids House is the

attorney’s office, medical personnel, child

single point of contact for child abuse inves-

protection professionals, social workers,

tigations. We provide this targeted popula-

and licensed mental health counselors, we

tion with essential life services to help vic-

are working together to break the cycle of

tims and their families heal.

violence often seen with child abuse.

For some perspective, child abuse is the

Within the past year in Seminole

leading cause of death in children under

County, there have been a total of 4,634

the age of 4, and Seminole County Child

child abuse hotline calls. In more than two

Protective Services receives approximately

decades, more than 25,000 children have

JULIETTE KONG Chief Executive Officer, Kids House of Seminole 106

hat is precisely what our

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