Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation awards prevention grant

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Miami – Kristi House announced the award of a major grant from Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation to provide prevention education, outreach and training to the South Florida community. The $50,000 award will be used to provide education programs to adults including parents, teachers and professionals, as well as to children.

“This project seeks to address child sexual abuse with prevention before harm occurs by helping parents and other adults identify and reduce risk factors, and increase the protective factors among children that may prevent vulnerability to victimization,” Executive Director Trudy Novicki explained.

“Child sexual abuse is correlated with an increased risk for a wide range of behavioral issues, mental health problems and adjustment difficulties in childhood and later in life,” she said. “It impacts not just the victims, but also families and communities.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has called child sexual abuse a public health epidemic; the American Medical Association has declared it a “silent-violent epidemic;” and the CDC and the World Health Assembly have both declared violence prevention a public health priority. Despite these declarations and even with all the stories in the national media about unspeakable acts of sexual assault perpetrated against children, very little public funding is dedicated toward prevention education.

Kristi House promotes several easy, basic steps that all parents and adults can take to help keep children safe. For young children, the key is to teach children that they can say “no” to unwanted touch.

As the Children’s Advocacy Center for all of Miami-Dade County, Kristi House is dedicated to providing a healing environment for child victims of sexual abuse and their families. This approach includes coordinating client families’ involvement with legal, medical and mental health systems, limiting the number of interviews to reduce the trauma associated with each retelling of the story, and ensuring that no child falls through the gaps in our complex child welfare system. Kristi House also directly provides a full continuum of wrap-around services and care for victims and their families free of charge. This includes therapy, which is critical for recovery from the trauma of sexual abuse for most survivors.

The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation, Inc., is a private grant-making foundation supporting projects and programs designed to improve, preserve or restore the health and health care of the people in Miami-Dade County. For more Information or a grant application, please see www.jtmacdonaldfdn.org.

Kristi House is centrally located in the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital campus area at 1265 NW 12 Avenue. Four satellite offices in other parts of Miami-Dade County serve clients in surrounding neighborhoods. Founded in 1996, Kristi House has helped more than 10,000 victims of child sexual abuse and their families recover from the trauma of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Services include case management, therapy, referral, transportation, advocacy, client emergency assistance, level of care assessments, as well as prevention education and training.