Legislation

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT

In order to have a strong systematic response to child abuse, it is imperative to collaborate not only with our team members that are side by side with us after a report has been made, but also with those state level leaders that make decisions about legislation that directly impact children and families. CACM strives to increase the awareness of state legislators and other relevant policy makers regarding the CAC model. Our legislators are often the key to making high level systemic changes in order to strengthen the system's response to felony child abuse.

It is important to CACM to educate our legislators on the impact of state statutes on child sexual abuse investigations. Without support from our Senate and House members, key legislation would not have been passed such as the authorization of multidisciplinary teams in the state (Miss. Code Ann. § 43-15-5) and language supporting appropriate accommodations for children testifying in court (Miss.Code 99-43-101).

 

 

Contact Your Legislator Who is my Legislator Legislation Watch

QUICK STATS

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2015 - 2016

 Number of Professionals Trained:  808 during 44 trainings

Professionals trained included:  

Child Advocacy Center Staff

Law Enforcement

Social Workers or DHS Staff

Medical

DA Victim Advocates

Judiciary

Prosecutors/AGO

Other related professionals (CASA, Mental Health, Dept. of Health Staff, etc.)

 

Primary Services Provided by Mississippi CACs:

Medical Exam Referrals - 400

Onsite Counseling/Therapy - 540

Referral for Counseling - 1,246

Victim Advocacy - 561

Receiving Court Preparation Services - 70

Total Number of Children Seen at a CAC - 2,554

Total Number of Non-offending Caregivers seen at a CAC - 2,490

Total Number of Children Seen at a CAC for a Forensic Interview - 2,148

Total Number of Children from Another State Seen for a CAC Forensic Interview - 14

Total Number of Vulnerable Adults Seen for a Forensic Interview - 7

Total Number of CSEC Cases Seen for a Forensic Interview - 9

Total Number of Intimate Partner Dating Violence Reported - 14

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COOKIE DAY AT THE CAPITOL

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CACM has hosted a cookie day at the capitol the past three years to help kick off Child Abuse Awareness Month. This provided an opportunity for CACs around the state to thank our legislators for the work they do every day to support Mississippi's children and families.

 

The Executive Directors from each CAC visited the capitol, met with their local legislators, and gave them a cookie jar filled with delicious Campbell's Bakery cookies. During this time, we were able to educate our legislators on the work that is being done in their community through the support of the CACs. A letter containing statistics, number of children served, and other key information was provided to the legislators along with cookie jars. It was an amazing event that allow us to have face-to-face contact with our legislators.

 

We are fortunate in Mississippi to have legislators that listen to us directly and care about the work we are doing in their communities. They want to make sure that the children in their counties receive the best care possible. Building these relationships is vital to the success of our program.

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