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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
and Sexual Assault Awareness

April is National Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month, a time to speak out and support survivors of sexual assault and child abuse. According to the National Network on Rape, Abuse and Incest, every 73 seconds a person experiences a sexual assault in the United States. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. Here in Broward, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported 688 violations in 2019. According to the National Alliance for Children, nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States annually.
When it comes to sexual assault and child abuse, silence is not an option. The Nancy J. Cotterman Center (NJCC), Broward County's only accredited Child Advocacy and Rape Crisis Center, provides services in a safe and non-threatening environment for survivors of sexual assault, child abuse and trafficking. people and their family members who support them. NJCC professionals are specially trained to provide crisis intervention and counseling, as well as forensic medical examinations and clinical child abuse assessments. Services are available to non-offending adult and child survivors and family members at no charge.

NJCC, part of the Broward County Division of Human Services Crisis Intervention and Support, provides:
* Crisis Support:
24/7 crisis services for survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and trauma and family members who have been affected by these crimes.
* Child Protection Team: 24/7 services for survivors of child abuse and multidisciplinary collaboration to ensure the well-being and safety of children.
* Counseling: trauma-focused mental health services for survivors of child abuse, sexual violence, and human trafficking and their non-offending family members.
* Medical: 24/7 forensic medical examinations for survivors of sexual violence, child abuse and human trafficking and medical consultations.
Ana María Ferrer, human services administrator for the Nancy J. Cotterman Center said: "As a community, we must support survivors of sexual assault and child abuse and understand that it is never their fault." Last year, the Crisis Unit provided more than 7,500 episodes of service.
On April 20, at the Broward County Commission meeting at the Government Center, commissioners will present a proclamation at 10 a.m. to community partners who collaborate with the Nancy J. Cotterman Center recognizing April as the Month of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness and April 20 as Denim Day in Broward County.

For more information, contact
with the Nancy J. Cotterman Center
at 954-357-5775 or the sexual assault hotline 24 hours a day
at 954-761-RAPE (7273).

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